ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - If you carved a pumpkin to mark Halloween, don't toss it in the trash can when the festivities are over.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is urging people to consider composting the squash variation that is high in vitamins and minerals. The Rivanna Solid Waste Authority is prepared to help with a fun event.

On November 10, people will be able to smash their pumpkins at a composting event. It will be held at the McIntire Recycling Center in Charlottesville at 8:30 a.m. It's free and open to those living in the city and Albemarle County.

People living outside of Charlottesville and Albemarle should check with their city or county to see if there is a pumpkin collection program.

Press Release from the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority:

Go green this Halloween and compost your pumpkin!

Rivanna Solid Waste Authority will host the Great Pumpkin Smash Composting Event at McIntire Recycling Center, located at 611 McIntire Road Charlottesville, VA 22902, on November 10, 2018 from 8:30am to 5:30pm.

Participants will be able to “smash” their pumpkins by dropping them into a large composting container. Information regarding the RSWA, City, and County composting and recycling programs will be available. Pumpkin composting is free of charge and open to City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County residents.

Rivanna Solid Waste Authority is dedicated to protecting and improving the environment by providing the recycling, composting, refuse, and waste disposal services. RSWA assists thousands of City and County residents each year with their recycling, solid waste, and household hazardous waste disposal.

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Pumpkins are good food, high in essential vitamins and minerals. Once we carve and light them, however, most people think their value is gone. Think of this: just as many resources went into growing that Virginia grown Jack O’lantern as any other food product, and it will produce a nutrient-dense compost as it rots.

Check with your city or county to see if they have a pumpkin collection program. Some areas collect pumpkins with yard waste but some do not, so check before you chuck.

You can turn composting your pumpkin into a fun activity for kids. Let them break it into pieces. Find a sunny corner if possible, leave the pieces there, cover with leaves and within a few months, you should have an earthy-smelling compost rich in nutrients to spread on your plants.

Putting every bit of your pumpkin to good use takes a little effort, but it can be a fun family activity and a way to do something good for the planet.