Nearly 75% of Americans are estimated to participate in this year’s Halloween festivities, and with that comes Halloween-related waste. This includes costumes, decorations, pumpkins, candy wrappers and more. The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (Authority) is here to help “green” your Halloween!
Each Halloween brings the chance to become someone (or something) else for a night. Instead of buying a new costume every year, turn Halloween into an opportunity to test your DIY skills! Store-bought Halloween costumes are convenient, however they are a part of “fast fashion.” Fast fashion is when clothing items are produced quickly and cheaply to keep up with the latest fashion (or Halloween costume) trends. If DIY isn’t something you’re in to, try hosting a costume swap with your friends or check out local thrift stores for second hand costumes.
Don’t forget about the Authority’s 5th Annual Green Halloween Costume Contest! Students in Oneida and Herkimer Counties can send the Authority pictures of their DIY costumes for the chance to win $200! Photos that are emailed to Authority Recycling Coordinator, Eileen Brinck (email@example.com,) or are sent to the Authority’s social media before November 2nd will be considered.
Like costumes, Halloween decorations can also be made quickly and cheaply to keep up with the latest decoration trends. Instead of store-bought decorations, opt for natural decorations or make your own! Pumpkins, gourds, mums and corn stalks can all be composted, so after you’re done using them they can be recycled into compost to help your garden. If you’re choosing to DIY, start by checking out your recycling bin to see what items you may be able to upcycle! Glass bottles can be made into lanterns, milk jugs can be made into skeletons, and cardboard boxes can be made into tombstones.
Candy wrappers are not accepted for recycling. This is because candy wrappers are too small to recycle at recycling mills and they often have different layers of material that cannot be separated. Although candy wrappers are small, they contribute to a large amount of plastic that ends up in the landfill, especially when you think of how many pieces of candy are being eaten this time of year. Be sure to use a reusable candy bag or bucket to collect all your treats!
Reusing items to get into the Halloween spirit is the best way to ensure that you are not generating any additional Halloween waste! While doing so, you are helping to conserve resources and save space in the Regional Landfill and are also practicing good habits that can be used during the rest of the holiday season!