With Halloween done and dusted for another year, 18,030 tonnes of rotting pumpkin carcasses are heading into London wheelie bins – but it doesn’t have to be so wasteful.
“The waste produced at Halloween is incredible, and many people will want to get rid of the stinky rotting pumpkin carcasses fairly quickly after what was a very wet weekend”, explains Charlotte Green from London Waste Collection Company TradeWaste.co.uk
Most end up in normal general waste bins collected by the councils, as recycling facilities for food are not generally available for householders.
* A standard supermarket pumpkin will weigh on average 10kg
* 12.6 million pumpkins will end up being discarded next week across the UK
* This means 126,000 tonnes of pumpkin waste is heading to landfill
* 18,030 tonnes will be discarded in London alone this year
“We are promoting as many alternatives to simply binning both the inside and outside of a pumpkin this year – the flesh inside makes a lovely warming soup and can also be roasted – it’s dead easy – but if that’s too late for the insides, there are certainly uses for the rotting carcass too”, explains Green from TradeWaste.co.uk.
Alternative options are available for using the carcass once the excitement of Halloween has died down instead of simply chucking it into your wheelie bin.
Bug Houses – The carcass can be hidden in your garden and the shell will be eaten by all sorts of garden bugs, slugs and birds.
Pinata – One of the most unique methods was smashing the old pumpkin to pieces (like a Mexican Pinata) and then combining with leaves to form a compost which would be ready for Spring planting.
Compost – the rotting pumpkin is a great addition to a garden compost bin. Wildlife Study – the decomposing pumpkin can be used to show kids how the process works, and is can be fascinating visiting each day to note the changes to their Halloween pumpkin
Where available the rotting pumpkins can be processed and the methane they release when decomposing captured to power trucks and buses.
“We need to think about how to reduce the amount of waste put in the ground, and welcome any new ideas on how to recycle pumpkins – time to get the kids involved!”, concludes Charlotte Green from London Waste Collection Company TradeWaste.co.uk