A frightening amount of waste

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Halloween might have been and gone for another year, but the frightening festival brings its own scary statistics in food waste.

90 per cent of all sales of pumpkins take place in the run up to Halloween, but it’s estimated that in the UK last year, around 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin were simply thrown out, with many ending up in landfill sites.

Calderdale Council is now reminding residents that if their Halloween treats haven’t been eaten, then the best thing to do is to put them out with your weekly food waste collection service.

Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, Coun Barry Collins, said: “Obviously it’s best to waste as little food as possible, but if you do have leftover food, remember to put it in your caddy so it can be collected and recycled. There’s no need to wait until your containers are full before putting them out for collection, your food waste will be collected every week on the same day as your normal recycling collection.

“People in Calderdale are great at recycling, and we have one of the best recycling rates in the country. It’s important we can keep up this good work to ensure that as little waste as possible ends up in landfill sites.”

The council’s food waste collection service has been operated since 2008 by recycling and resource management company SITA (UK) Ltd now rebranded as SUEZ. The service provides the borough’s 95,000 properties with specialist containers known as ‘food caddies’ for the disposal of leftover food as well as the appropriate liners suitable for the reprocessing plant.

After the waste is collected, it is taken to a special processing plant in Doncaster, where the waste is treated to produce a gas which in turn generates electricity. This service collects around 5000 tonnes of food waste annually, keeping it away from landfill.

SUEZ senior contract manager, Gareth Richardson, said: “We have seen a massive improvement in our recycling rates over the last few years and I’d like to thank Calderdale residents for helping us to achieve this. Now with Halloween over with, many residents of Calderdale will be waking up with unwanted pumpkins. So instead of just throwing them away with the rest of your waste, why not do your bit for the environment and put them in your food caddies. This not only keeps your redundant Jack-o’-lanterns away from landfill, but it is also a cheaper alternative for you and your local council.”

For more information about waste and recycling visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/environment/waste