2023 Great Pumpkin Drop Off

This year, instead of putting your pumpkin the the curb, consider dropping it off at a convenient garden center or compost site.

For the second year in a row, Buffalo River Compost (a division of NOCO) is helping to curb the waste that is the result from people chucking their pumpkins in the trash. According to the organization, hundreds of thousands of tons of pumpkins are disposed of in landfills where they do not break down naturally and emit harmful greenhouse gases.

Buffalo River Compost has teamed up with a number of garden centers or compost sites that have agreed to collect the post-Halloween pumpkins and gourds that are mostly decorative in nature. The free pumpkin (and gourd) collection drive is being conducted November 3rd to the 5th.

Pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, and gourds, including those that may already be decaying or rotting, will be accepted at all drop-off locations.

The pumpkin (and gourd) collection event ensures that the rotting natural materials are turned into productive soil that will then be available for purchase in the spring. Last year, Buffalo River Compost collected 6,000 pounds of pumpkins and gourds that went on to successfully decompose into fertile soil instead of gaseous waste.

In order enhance the composting program, Erie County and Farmer Pirates Compost are joining Buffalo River Compost this year, to ensure that the program is as efficient as possible.

Pumpkins should not be bleached or painted, and have candles or lanterns removed. No corn stalks or hay bales will be accepted. 

“Food waste, which includes the annual disposal of pumpkins, is a serious issue not only nationally but at the state and local levels, which is why Buffalo River Compost wants to be a part of the food waste solution here in Western New York,” said Alistair Holden, organics manager, NOCO. “Growing from two drop-off locations in 2022 to 10 locations this year magnifies the gravity of the food waste issue we see here locally. We hope to work with our local municipalities to continue our journey into solving the food waste crisis.”

This year’s pumpkin collection is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 3 through Sunday, Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily at several locations throughout Western New York. Collection containers will be available in the parking lots of the following locations:

Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo

Busy Beaver Lawn and Garden, 4415 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg

Dearborn Street Community Garden, corner of Dearborn and Hamilton, Buffalo

The English Gardener, 400 Harlem Road, Snyder

Erie County Compost Site, 11581 Walden Ave., Alden

Groundwork Market Garden, 1698 Genesee St., Buffalo

Lud’s Landscaping, 320 Rhode Island St., Buffalo

Masterson’s Garden Center, 725 Olean Road, East Aurora

Pelion Gardens, 212 Best St., Buffalo

Tripi’s Landscaping, 3812 South Park Ave., Blasdell

For more details, please visit If you are interested in learning more about Buffalo River Compost and its Tend compost products that will be produced with the leftover pumpkins, please visit

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