Pumpkins have long been part of Halloween celebrations. This year, Waste Management of Orange County invites residents to give their jack-o-lantern back to Mother Nature by disposing of it in their green waste cart where it will be sent off for composting.
“Pumpkins, like organic waste from yards, can be reused as fertilizer to help produce healthier lawns, plants and flowers,” said Elmer Heap, public sector manager for Waste Management. “As the nation’s largest residential recycler, Waste Management is always looking for environmentally positive ways to handle waste in Orange County.”
To properly dispose of pumpkins, residents should remove any materials such as candles, glow sticks and non-vegetative decorations and place the pumpkin in the green waste cart.
“Composting pumpkins after the holiday is just one easy way residents can think green this Halloween,” added Heap.
The following are additional tips to help reduce, reuse and recycle this Halloween.
• Hold a costume exchange party. Halloween costumes are often worn only once. By holding a costume exchange party with friends, last year’s outfit can get another wear and you can get something new, without any waste.
• Create your own spooky decorations. Save your wallet from getting the chills by making your own decorations from repurposed materials. Creating your own hair raising decorations will put less stress on your wallet, the planet and allow you to showcase your originality for trick-or-treaters to admire.
• Trick or treat with recyclable bags. Canvas, cloth or other reusable bags are an earth-friendly, and more affordable, alternative to plastic jack-o-lantern buckets. Or, decorate recyclable bags or old pillowcases with spooky scenes to create a custom carryall to take home the goodies.
• Leave only footprints after trick-or-treating. Dispose of candy wrappers, a big source of litter on the streets during Halloween, and carry an extra bag and pick up litter along the way. Your neighbors and the environment will appreciate this treat.