Compost or recycle your pumpkins this Halloween!

PUBLISHED: 25 October 2023

As families get ready to celebrate Halloween, Colchester City Council is urging residents to make the most of their leftover pumpkins 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. If the pumpkin does not fit, try cutting it up in small pieces or put it on top of the food caddy on collection day.

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! 

Councillor Martin Goss, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services and Waste, said: “Halloween is a hugely popular event, but one of the scariest parts is the thought of all those pumpkins going to waste.

“We must all do our bit for the environment and compost or recycle our food waste, including leftover pumpkins. If you can’t compost them at home, we’re asking Colchester residents to recycle 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 of their caddy.” 

The Love Food Hate Waste website at features lots of great recipes for leftover food, including pumpkins.  

Further information about recycling in Colchester can be found at

Page last reviewed: 25 October 2023


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