Sunshine Coast residents are being reminded to reduce, reuse and compost this Halloween.
“We are calling on all Sunshine Coast residents to consider how their Halloween fun could also avoid more garbage arriving at the landfill,” said Sunshine Coast Regional District board chair Garry Nohr in a news release. “By composting your pumpkin or buying a second hand costume, you are helping achieve the Sunshine Coast’s goal of diverting 65 per cent of our garbage sent-to-landfill by 2016.
Here are some ideas for shrinking your garbage this Halloween:
• Visit some of the many second hand and consignment shops on the Coast to build your Halloween costumes. Take your costume back there when you are finished — or pass it on to another family to use.
• Check out on-line reuse and buy and sell pages for Halloween costumes for sale.
Stop your pumpkin from being trashed.
Organic waste (for example kitchen scraps, yard clippings and Halloween pumpkins) is the largest group of material that can be diverted from the landfill,” added Jeremy Valeriote, SCRD manager, waste reduction and recovery. “Pumpkins tossed in the trash will end up rotting in the landfill where they will contribute to the generation of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that causes climate change.”
Organic waste makes up 41 per cent of waste disposed in local landfills. Residential and commercial organic waste represents an estimated 5,400 tonnes of the waste disposed on the Sunshine Coast.
Ideas for what you can do with your jack o’lantern after Halloween include:
• Eat them! Like squash, pumpkin is edible and tasty – and the seeds can also be roasted.
• Compost them. Chop your pumpkin into pieces and place them in your backyard composter.
• Bury them. Return them to the soil by digging a deep hole in your garden to prevent attracting wildlife.
• Drop them off at a commercial composting operation.