Local livestock might enjoy a pumpkin dinner once you’re finished with your Halloween jack o’ lantern. Contact the Alberni Valley Pumpkin Pickup for details!

Local livestock might enjoy a pumpkin dinner once you’re finished with your Halloween jack o’ lantern. Contact the Alberni Valley Pumpkin Pickup for details!

Nothing spooky about these Halloween recycling tips!

Halloween generates lots of tiny packaging and food waste – here’s how to get rid of it properly

It is a strange Halloween this year as families take a calculated risk as to whether their children will participate in trick-or-treating. Locally, several folks have been creative by making candy shooters, or are planning to hand out treats with masks, tongs and appropriate sanitization.

Perhaps you’re just going to purchase candy and dole it out to your children or the big kids in the house. Regardless of how you celebrate, Halloween tends to generate a fair bit of tiny packaging as well as food waste (pumpkins)!

Here are a few tips to help minimize that waste:

Avoid plastic disposable bags and opt for cloth bags, like pillowcases, for holding treats. If you’re doing conventional trick or treating, sampling is inevitable but urge your children to avoid littering by taking along an extra bag for any garbage or recycling.

All those crinkly little wrappers that you find on Rockets, little chocolate bars and potato chips can all be recycled in the “other flexible plastic” category for Recycle BC’s pilot waste to energy program. Although these are not accepted in curbside pickup, the 3rd Avenue depot, (which has now reopened Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) will accept along them, along with the recycling station at the AV Landfill. Smarties boxes can be recycled as cardboard (accepted in the curbside program). And how about that costume? Don’t just throw it in the trash – think of donating it to a secondhand store or check if the theatre is in need of any costumes.

Instead of throwing your pumpkin in the trash, turn it into a treat. Turn the flesh into a delicious pumpkin pie or cheesecake and roast the seeds for a light snack or bird feed. If you’re not feeling that inspired, another great local initiative is the Alberni Valley Pumpkin Pickup. The project coordinator is Richard Huneault, a student in the Market Gardeners Program through the Shelter Farm. This great project has turned into an annual event and has some real benefits for those that are interested in:

  • donating your unwanted pumpkin after Halloween
  • receiving processed pumpkins for your own consumption or restaurant use
  • have livestock that would enjoy a pumpkin dinner
  • getting involved and volunteering

For more information on how you can get involved, please email avpumpkinpickup@gmail.com.

It’s also worth noting that with the number of black bears that have been seen around the community this past month that reducing the number of available attractants is critical to minimize the number of human/wildlife interactions. For further information on reducing bear interactions connect with the WildSafe BC Alberni Valley Coordinator, Amira Strain at albernivalley@wildsafebc.com.

RELATED READING: Use your bear smarts this fall

For more information on local recycling services, refer to the ACRD website at acrd.bc.ca/recycling_schedules. To download the free ACRD Recycling and Waste Wizard app go to your mobile app store and find . You can also check out the Facebook Page “Alberni Valley Waste Reduction Education” which has weekly tips and updates for the valley.

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