Countywide

County offers post-Halloween composting services with ‘PumpkinPalooza’

Pumpkins on asphalt (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Another Halloween has come and gone, but the jack-o’-lantern that may be sitting on your stoop isn’t going to get rid of itself.

Instead of trashing the carved-up squash, the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services is encouraging residents to compost with its annual “PumpkinPalooza” services.

“Repurposing them in this manner is more environmentally friendly than throwing them away,” DPWES said in a press release announcing the event.

The county is accepting pumpkins for composting through Nov. 17 at its I-95 Landfill Complex (9850 Furnace Road) in Lorton and the I-66 Transfer Station (4618 West Ox Road) near Fair Lakes.

Pumpkins can be dropped off at both facilities between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

“All pumpkins and squash must be free of all decorations, such as paint, glitter and candle wax,” DPWES said. “Those items cannot be composted.”

The county officially introduced its compost outpost for food scraps at the I-66 disposal facility in April after a two-year pilot to demonstrate its effectiveness.

The Fairfax County Park Authority has also added composting drop-offs at all of its farmers markets, though the Wakefield and Kingstowne markets have already ended their seasons. The park authority collected nearly 37 tons of compost last year, when the service launched at five markets before expanding to all sites for 2023.