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Colchester Borough Council is asking residents to make the most of their jack o’lanterns 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: “The borough’s current recycling rate is at the highest it’s ever been at this time of year, at 56%. This is fantastic news and shows that residents are keen to recycle more and waste less and Halloween should be no exception.
“More and more pumpkins are being used for Halloween decorations every year and it’s important that they don’t become a Halloween nightmare and end up in landfill.
“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.”
Watch this short video to find out what happens to the food waste Colchester recycles.
The Love Food Hate Waste website at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com features lots of great recipes for leftover food, including pumpkins.
Further information about recycling in Colchester can be found at www.colchester.gov.uk/recycling.