Help stop the Halloween waste nightmare

Help stop the Halloween waste nightmare

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Tewkesbury Borough Council join Gloucestershire’s Joint Waste Team in urging borough residents to compost, put in the food waste caddy or better still reuse carved pumpkin lanterns once this year’s spooky celebrations are over.

Now the third largest retail event in the UK, falling only behind Christmas and Easter, Halloween is responsible for eighteen thousand tonnes of perfectly edible pumpkin ending up in rubbish bins across the country. Put in context, this figure equates to almost one and a half times the total amount of refuse collected from Tewkesbury Borough homes in an entire year.

A recent study has shown that seventy percent of carved pumpkins don’t get eaten, very often in the mistaken belief that they are not edible or because they are simply not seen as food.  However, pumpkin is an incredibly versatile vegetable. Everything can be eaten, from the flowers to the seeds, stringy pulp and flesh of the fruit. Pumpkin can be used in both sweet and savoury recipes including soups, breads, cakes and muffins, be added to pasta meals or salads, and of course be used as a vegetable in its own right.

Cllr Jim Mason, Lead member for Clean and Green Environment said ‘ Whilst we would encourage residents to enjoy Halloween and have fun, we’d also ask them to spare a thought for the environmental impact of such a large number of pumpkins hitting landfill. Please compost your jack o’lantern or pop it in the food caddy, or even better turn it into something tasty to eat”

Tewkesbury Borough residents are reminded that they can recycle their old pumpkins using the weekly food waste recycling service. Simply remove any tea lights or candles before either putting the pumpkin whole into the food caddy or carefully cutting it into smaller pieces first.

Anyone needing a new or additional caddy can pick one up from the council office’s reception in Tewkesbury, or at Churchdown, Brockworth, Bishop’s Cleeve and Winchcombe’s advice and information centres or you can order online at:

Pumpkins also make a useful addition to any compost heap or bin. With fallen autumn leaves also in abundance at this time of year, now is the perfect time to give home composting a try. 

All residents in Gloucestershire are eligible to purchase compost bins through Gloucestershire County Council’s subsidised scheme. Bins can be purchased from as little as £8.49 for 220ltr bin or £9.99 for a 330ltr bin (£5.99 delivery charge applies). Both bins are available on a ‘buy one, buy one half-price’ offer. More information can be found online at or by calling 0844 571 4444.