Trash or Treat? How to Make Halloween Waste a Little Less Spooky.

October 17th, 2022
Reading time: 4 minutes

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It’s that time of year again when ghouls and ghosts roam our streets in search of candy and goodies that are tasty and sweet. But the amount of waste this holiday produces is the scariest part of the spooky season.

To help you get maximum enjoyment out of the holiday while giving you some peace of mind that you’re doing all you can to minimize waste, we’ve put together this “Trash or Treat” post with some recommendations for how you can Reimagine Waste during Halloween.



We all enjoy carving pumpkins in the days leading up to Halloween, but they typically end up in the trash when the trick-or-treating ends. We recommend composting these old pumpkins. Even if you don’t have your own compost, many communities have local compost piles where anyone can contribute.


Molded Plastic Pumpkins

These Halloween mainstays are made of polyethylene—meaning they will live forever. Since polyethylene is not easily recycled, we recommend reusing these candy collectors for as long as possible. When the time comes to turn your treat collector into trash, do your research and see if you can find a local recycling facility that can process polyethylene. Just don’t throw them away, as they will take up space in landfills.


Paper Candy Wrappers

You would think candy wrappers could be easily recycled because they are made of paper and common plastic, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. Due to their small size and the fact most have bits of candy stuck to them, they are nearly impossible to recycle. If you’re feeling crafty, turn them into fake flowers or bookmarks to find useful life rather than throwing them away. If you’re able to recycle, make sure to rinse them before discarding them.


Fake Spider Webs

These faux webs adorn bushes and trees during the spooky season, but they are rarely taken down to be re-used the following year. Made from polyester, they are easily recycled and can be disposed of in your recycling bin. Once they reach the recycling facility, they can be turned into new plastics and PET plastic bottles while avoiding landfills.



Bedsheets with eye holes cut out are a tried-and-true costume to make in a pinch. But did you know they can also be recycled? While you can’t put them directly in the recycling bin, you can reach out to your local recycling center to learn how to recycle fabric waste.

Halloween is the perfect time to Reimagine Waste, thanks to the glut of waste we produce. However,  our fight against waste should never be relegated to one holiday. We unwaste waste daily and would love for you to join us on this journey.

Remember, someone’s trash may be someone else’s treat. Stay spooky, stay sustainable, and join us in creating a world without waste.

Happy Halloween!

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Brad Marley

Brad is a lifelong storyteller who helps companies find their single source of truth. He works with brands in tech and sustainability to identify their most impactful narratives and ensure that messaging is weaved throughout their storytelling efforts. Brad brings more than 20 years of storytelling experience to bear as he helps Brightmark make its mark.

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