Don't throw your Halloween pumpkin in the rubbish bin, Dorset Waste Partnership advises
HALLOWEEN is a scary time – but the amount of food that goes to waste from the festivities each year is truly terrifying, say council chiefs. Families are now being encouraged to save money and help the environment by eating their decorative pumpkins.
The Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP) is urging keen carvers to eat the contents of their pumpkin, and place the spooky lanterns in the food waste bin once Hallowe'en is over.
In the UK, around 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin are thrown away each year. That’s 15 million pumpkins going to waste instead of being eaten.
So the message from the DWP is – please don’t just throw your pumpkin in the rubbish bin. Try one of the many delicious pumpkin recipes available online and cook up a treat. Soups, curries, pies and cakes can all be whipped up in next to no time using this delicious squash.
And any pumpkin that is left over should either be composted at home or go in your brown food waste bin.
Pumpkins that end up in your black wheelie bin cost the council a lot of money, either in waste treatment costs or Landfill Tax. And food waste that ends up in landfill creates methane, a damaging greenhouse gas.
If you don’t have room in your food bin, DWP collection crews will pick up any intact pumpkins placed on top or next to your food waste bin when left out for collection.
Cllr Tony Alford, chairman of the Dorset Waste Partnership’s Joint Committee, said:
“Halloween is now a big event in the UK, with 42 per cent of UK households buying a pumpkin each year. Only a third of people actually eat what they carve out, which is a great shame as pumpkins are a tasty and versatile vegetable.
"So we are encouraging people to eat their pumpkins. Whatever is left should be home composted or put in your brown food waste bin. It is worth remembering that Dorset’s food waste is collected at the kerbside weekly and turned into biogas. This helps generate electricity and also produces bio-fertiliser for farmers.
"So give a pumpkin recipe a try this Halloween. By reducing what you throw away, you can help protect the environment and save money for both you and your council.”
The Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP) is supporting Hubbub’s Pumpkin Rescue scheme. Find out more at hubbub.org.uk
Recipes and ideas for pumpkins and other types of food can be found at dorsetforyou.gov.uk/lovefoodhatewaste