As families get ready to celebrate Halloween, Colchester Borough Council is urging residents to make the most of their leftover pumpkins this Halloween by making, munching and mulching them.
Every October, the UK wastes 18,000 tons of squash, however, every part of a pumpkin can be used or recycled – they are a real jack o’ all trades.
Once you have made your spooky decoration, the scooped-out flesh can be used to make tasty pies, soups, hummus or even smoothies. Toasted and seasoned pumpkin seeds make a delicious and healthy snack too. Pet hamsters will happily munch them raw, or you can plant them to grow your very own pumpkins for next year.
Once Halloween has ended, pumpkins with the candles removed can be composted or placed in your food waste caddy. Colchester’s recycled food goes to an anaerobic digestion plant where it is then turned into fertiliser that feeds crops. This process also produces a gas that is used to generate electricity so in a few months’ time, your pumpkin could help to power your Christmas lights!
Cllr Martin Goss, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Waste, Environment and Transportation, said: “Halloween is a hugely popular event, but one of the scariest parts for us is the thought of all those pumpkins going to waste.
“We must all do our bit for the environment and recycle or compost our food waste, including leftover pumpkins. By doing so, households will reduce their waste and save money.
“We’re asking Colchester residents to recycle their pumpkin leftovers by cutting them up and placing them in with their weekly food waste or, if they are too large, place them on top or next to their caddy.”
The Love Food Hate Waste website at lovefoodhatewaste.com features lots of great recipes for leftover food, including pumpkins.
Further information about recycling in Colchester can be found at colchester.gov.uk/recycling.