Geoff Binns-Calvey (at right) directs participants arming his pumpkin smasher at the Altenheim grounds on Saturday November 4, 2023 | Todd Bannor

It was a smashing good time at the north end of Altenheim as Forest Parkers got to watch their Halloween pumpkins getting turned into a paste in a spectacular fashion.

The Forest Park Recreation Board worked with the Department of Public Works to organize the villages’ first-ever Pumpkin Smash on the morning of Nov. 4. Special effects designer Geoff Binns-Calvey, husband of Rec Board chair Amy Binns-Calvey, designed and built a large trebuchet-like smashing device. Forest Parkers placed their pumpkin on a pedestal positioned in a village dumpster, and the smashing device brought down the hammer, to the delight of kids and adults alike. The paste was composted by the village’s regular organic waste removal contractor, Republic Services.

The event aimed to help reduce waste created by pumpkins that would otherwise be simply thrown in with the rest of the garbage. Instead, the paste can be used to nourish the soil.