Every year, one billion pounds of pumpkins are produced in the United States alone. That’s a LOT of organic material that will just go rot in the landfill if not disposed of naturally.

If you don’t have a compost bin, this is a great time to start one—with the remains of your holiday pumpkin! You can find directions on starting composting here.

If you already compost, here are some things to remember:

1) If you carved your pumpkin and got rid of all the flesh and seeds inside it, you don’t need to worry about that stuff. Just remember to remove any candles/wax.

2) If you didn’t carve your pumpkin, you should open it up and get out all the seeds because they can sprout in your compost bin/heap!

3) Cut or smash your pumpkin into pieces smaller than your fist, if possible. If your pumpkin had a thick, hard stem, it can take a long time for that to break down—you may want to leave the stem out.

4) Put the pumpkin pieces in your heap or bin and add some drier material like leaves or grass clippings.

5) Turn your compost as frequently as you normally would.

6) If you live in a cooler region, you may want to move your bin to a spot where it will get some sun every day.