DOTHAN— October 27, 2017 — Waste Management wants to remind residents to Think Green® by adopting eco-friendly habits this Halloween season. One major way people can celebrate Halloween in an eco-friendly way is by composting jack-o-lanterns, leaves and yard trimmings rather than disposing of them in the garbage.

“A substantial portion of household garbage is organic waste from yards and kitchens, which is perfect material for composting. During the Halloween season we see an increase in the amount of disposed organic material that could be composted. Pumpkins and yard trimmings can be reused as fertilizer to help produce healthier lawns, plants, flowers and vegetable gardens.” said Tricia Farace, community affairs representative, Waste Management Gulf Coast Area. “At Waste Management, we support and participate in environmentally protective means of disposing and using organics around the U.S. and greatly appreciate all efforts to help us continue this mission this Halloween season.”

Waste Management offers a few tips for composting pumpkins, leaves and yard trimmings:

  • When ready to dispose of your pumpkin, hollow it out. Remove as much of the pumpkin’s meat and seeds as possible.
  • Smash the pumpkin into several pieces to provide more surface area.
  • Find a small area either in your backyard or on the side of your house where a pile of natural materials will not interfere with your landscaping.
  • Lay out pieces of your pumpkins and layer it with other types of materials, such as leaves and other yard trimmings to help will help with the composting process.
  • Continue to add other vegetable or fruit peels and other organic materials to the compost pile, and sit back and let Mother Nature work her magic.

“Incorporating eco-friendly habits into our lifestyle helps to reduce costs and waste, as well as providing numerous other benefits for our families and our communities,” said Faucheux. The following are additional tips to help reduce, reuse and recycle this Halloween.

  • Handout eco-friendly treats. Local organic groceries and health food stores offer a wide range of candy from organic chocolates to organic lollipops. These tasty treats are produced using methods that are not damaging to the environment.
  • Use recyclable bags for your trick-or-treaters. A fun family activity is to create a unique trick-or-treat basket, or simply put a reusable bag to good use. Avoiding the plastic jack-o-lantern-type containers will avoid clutter, save money, and add a dash of originality to your trick-or-treater’s costume.
  • Make your own costume. Put less stress on your wallet by opting for costumes made of reusable or recycled materials. You can find Halloween costume materials at thrift stores or yard sales. Using household items for costumes is another great way to recycle and repurpose.
  • Walk instead of drive. Rather than driving to other neighborhoods, stay close to home and trick-or-treat in your neighborhood. Walking from house to house helps to reduce fuel consumption and air pollution.
  • Throw a green Halloween party. Purchase organic pumpkins for carving and apples for bobbing from local organic farms. Once the jack-o-lanterns are carved and the bobbing is complete, use the apples and pumpkins for pies, soups and other tasty dishes.
  • Help keep neighborhoods clean while trick-or-treating. Carry an extra bag and pick up litter along the way. Candy wrappers can be a big source of litter on local streets during Halloween.