In the run up to Halloween, it’s estimated that over one million pumpkins are purchased in the UK, ready to be carved, and placed on doorsteps and windowsills across the country. Unfortunately, after Halloween, pumpkins can share the same fate as other vegetables and become part of the staggering 62,000 tonnes of food each year which ends up being thrown away in Hampshire.
Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “It may seem like a small thing, but throwing away a pumpkin and, indeed, any fruit or vegetables add to the volume of household waste which needs to be disposed of. We have an excellent record in Hampshire of diverting waste from landfill – only 6.6% of Hampshire’s household waste went to landfill last year – but we want to improve on this.
“Each month, Hampshire households throw away an estimated £60 worth of food that could have been eaten, and so I would urge everyone to think about what they put in their bin and if there is an option to re-use, recycle or compost it.”
Hampshire County Council aims to reduce waste by encouraging residents to think about food and garden waste and has launched the Smart Living initiative to provide advice and tips to help everyone save money and waste less. Pumpkins, for example, are an excellent seasonal vegetable packed full of vitamins and minerals. Discover some delicious pumpkin recipes and if there is still some pumpkin left over, it can be turned into compost to protect gardens all year round.
Pumpkin leftovers placed into compost bin with a good balance of other suitable food and garden waste will rot down to produce environmentally friendly compost in six to nine months. When ready, compost can be used as a soil improver on all types of plant beds; suppressing plant disease weeds and help to retain moisture throughout the drier months.
To support residents who want to start composting, Hampshire County Council has teamed up with Getcomposting.com to offer home compost bins at the introductory price for only £17.98 plus delivery (RRP £39). There is also a buy one get one half price offer to purchase a second bin from only £8.99.
Visit www.hants.getcomposting.com or call 0844 571 4444 for further information.
Find out more at www.hants.gov.uk/waste-recycling/smartliving