Council hopes to turnip the number of pumpkins diverted from landfill

Last year tonnes of pumpkins, and neeps, narrowly escaped the scary landfill graveyard as Aberdeenshire residents made better use of their leftovers.

Aberdeenshire Council hopes to save even more pumpkins from landfill this year, building on last year’s success, which saw 58tonnes of extra food waste diverted from landfill, saving around £4,000.

Residents are being encouraged to reuse their pumpkins by cooking them at home, transforming scraps into delicious meals, or if that doesn’t appeal, by recycling them in their food waste caddy.

If the pumpkin is too beastly to fit in the caddy, various Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) will be able to accept pumpkins and food waste from Monday, October 29 to Sunday, November 11.

The following sites have specific bins for a limited time: Macduff, Huntly, Turriff, Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Ellon, Inverurie, Westhill, Stonehaven, Banchory, Portlethen and Laurencekirk.

Residents shouldn’t worry, the council hasn’t forgotten about the north-east’s traditional carving vegetable of choice, turnips, and accepts these too.

Local family run pumpkin patch Udny Pumpkins also want to encourage their customers to recycle their exhausted pumpkins once Halloween is over. They try to inspire children who come to the patch to choose a pumpkin to recycle their food waste – especially leftover pumpkins.

According to environmental campaign group Hubbub, around 18 thousand tonnes of pumpkins are dumped in landfill every year in the UK.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Waste Manager, Ros Baxter, said: “We made a significant saving last year as a direct result of residents’ efforts and this year we want to rescue even more pumpkins from landfill.

“Last year the cost of landfilling 58tonnes of food waste would have cost the council just under £7,000 and recycling costed over £3,000, saving £4,000 which was reinvested into other council services. Sending food waste and items that could be recycled to landfill has more impact on the environment and the taxpayer.

“A lot of hard work and effort goes into growing a pumpkin, especially for local family run patches such as Udny Pumpkins. It is such a shame to see the energy expended wasted when a pumpkin is sent to landfill, rather than giving it another use by recycling or composting.

For more information what else you can put into your food caddy visit: http://bit.ly/RecycleAtHome

For more information on the location of HWRCs and their opening times visit: http://bit.ly/AbshireHWRCs