Don’t let pumpkin fun lead to messy parks and poorly wildlife

Southend-on-Sea Council City Council is noticing all the fang-tastic pumpkin fun that residents are having, but make sure to dispose of your pumpkins responsibly.

A carved pumpkin for Halloween.

Over the past few years, there has been an increase in old pumpkins being left in our award-winning parks and open spaces. Not only does this make the spaces unpleasant for residents and visitors, but the wildlife living in our parks and open spaces is unlikely to eat discarded pumpkins and can cause illness to some wildlife, including hedgehogs.

There are a few ways to make use of your old Jack O’Lanterns, you could dispose of them in one of the following ways:

  • use the existing food collection service
  • put your pumpkin on your home composting heap
  • for the remaining edible parts of your pumpkin, you can find fun and interesting recipes online

Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, culture, tourism and planning, said: “We know that families love spending time together carving pumpkins as is now traditional here in England, and we would like to thank residents who dispose of their pumpkins properly. However, we know there are also some people who leave them in parks, even when there are so many easy ways to dispose of them.

“It’s important that your pumpkin leftovers are not thrown in our parks and open spaces, as this could cause illness to local wildlife and attract unwanted wildlife into those areas. Also, any that aren’t eaten will then have to be cleaned up by our wonderful parks team, who work non-stop to keep those areas inviting for everyone.

“So please don’t be a jerk-o-lantern by turning our beautiful parks and open spaces into a pumpkin graveyard and make sure you dispose of them correctly.”

Stuart Atkinson, senior contract manager for Veolia, said: “Over 39 million pumpkins will be purchased for Halloween this year as around 3 in 5 people will buy at least one. A single pumpkin might not seem like much but put together this represents a tremendous amount of waste, so this October, let’s all remember to use our blue food waste bins to recycle all our food waste.

“All food waste collected by the crews will be taken to a special processing plant in Hertfordshire where it is used to generate green electricity and fertiliser which can be used in farming to grow more food. Residents can order a new food caddy free of charge on the MySouthend portal and our dedicated crew will deliver one to your doorstep.”

Published: 26th October 2022

Southend-on-Sea City Council