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THINK GREEN this Halloween!

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is asking its residents to 'go green' and fill their food waste caddies with all their ghastly party food leftovers!

Wasted food accounts for a staggering 8–10% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Whilst some items are inedible, like peelings and egg shells, they can still be recycled as part of RCT's FREE, weekly food waste recycling scheme.

Sign up for food waste recycling at 

Each year, more than one million pumpkins are sold in the UK, 99% of which are used to carve into lanterns.

Thousands more children across the County Borough are again preparing to keep up the tradition by carving pumpkins, ducking apples and participating in spooky activities at home.

Whilst carving pumpkins is fun, the Council reminds residents to recycle pumpkins and Ducking Apple remnants in their food waste caddy, ready for weekly kerbside collection after Halloween!

As a nation, Wales is scarily good at recycling, with current recycling rates placing us as third best in the world!

From April 2021 to April 2022, Rhondda Cynon Taf residents recycled over 59,900 tonnes. The scary news is that over 4,220 additional tonnes had to be thrown away due to contamination – that would have resulted in a further 6.5% recycled and a wasted recycling effort! 

A staggering 12,300 tonnes of food waste was collected during the same period – BUT over 482 tonnes were contaminated and had to be thrown away! That's nearly 4% more food waste that could have been recycled!

The good news is that, out of the recycled food waste, enough energy was collected to power around 1180 homes!

If there is one thing we can all look to do better, it's to scare the contamination away and ensure we don't waste our recycling efforts. Leftover dishwater will do the trick and give a big treat to the planet – rinse items in leftover dishwater before you place items into the clear bags!

That one tin, with the leftover bean guts (juice), could see the whole bag of recycling wasted – or even worse, it could ruin an entire lorry load once collected. It's also really important to know what, where and how to recycle your household items – luckily in RCT there is an A-Z searchable online guide available 24/7 for residents to use! 

Recycling is now the norm in Wales and RCT. A recent survey on Let's Talk (the Council's online engagement tool) shows that 100% of participants use the Council's recycling services, 97% said they do so weekly. The food waste recycling scheme is also reaching scary new heights, with 95% of residents saying they use the food waste recycling service. 

As part of the Council's ongoing commitment to climate change and recycling, the way it collects green waste recycling changed in November 2021. A new sustainable and reusable green sack was introduced, resulting in an estimated reduction of around 12 million CLEAR bags. Remember that green/garden waste collections will revert to fortnightly from w/c 31st October until March 2023.

Halloween is also a great time to clear the skeletons out of your cupboards and get rid of your dusty old relics!

Why not clear out the garage or spare room and raise some items from the dead? Give them a new lease of life by either taking them to The Shed in Llantrisant, Aberdare or Treherbert, or recycle them, in one of the Community Recycling Centres across Rhondda Cynon Taf. 

By jumping on your broom and taking your old items to one of the Community Recycling Centres (CRCs), you will ensure that these items are recycled and turned into new treasures! You never know, your old cardboard toy box could be the next magazine you buy. You will also clear some space in your house.

Remember to sort through your waste before dropping it at the Centre, as mixed items are not accepted. 

All Centres are manned, and the attendants are happy to advise residents on recycling and assist them in disposing of their household materials. 

Please be aware that a new policy for larger vans is now in place to combat illegal commercial waste. You may need to book a slot, to bring large quantities of various materials. Residents are advised that ID will be required and to contact the main office on 01685 870770 or 07824 541758 to arrange this. The booking service operates Mon-Fri (7.30am-3.30pm). It will enable arrangements to be made for visiting your preferred Community Recycling Centre. 

From October 31st the CRCs will be operating under winter opening hours - 8am to 5.30pm.

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Leisure said: "The Halloween season is a great time for families to have fun, although it is still important that we remember to think green and recycle all the extra waste that we might create.

"The support of our householders towards our food waste kerbside recycling has been amazing so far. I want to thank each resident of our County Borough for doing their bit.

"The great news is that more and more of our residents are thinking green daily, and the latest figures are a testament to this. We're asking all the little (and big) witches and ghouls to recycle all their scary waste this Halloween."

Recycling in Rhondda Cynon Taf couldn't be easier, with a weekly, unlimited recycling collection and a wide variety of places, across the County Borough to pick up your recycling bags from! You can sign up to food waste, green waste and nappy recycling online. In addition to this, ALL Community Recycling Centres across the County Borough are open 7 days a week from 8am - 7.30pm (March-October) 8am - 5.30pm (November to March).  

On average, 80% of household waste is recyclable - that's 8 out of every 10 bags of waste created by households being recycled and turned in to something new.   

 The Council has issued the following tips for a 'Green Halloween'

  • Avoid using plastic as much as possible
  • If you are planning a Halloween party, do not send out paper invitations
  • Avoid using disposable plates at Halloween parties
  • After your party, place any food waste into your caddy for collection
  • Make Halloween costumes by reusing old clothes or buying from charity shops
  • Use the flesh of the pumpkin as the main ingredient in a tasty dish like pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie or roasted pumpkin risotto. Pumpkin can also be used as a cheap and tasty alternative to sweet potato. 
  • Even pumpkins seeds can be put to good use – toast them in a dry pan or roast them in the oven, and store them in an airtight jar. They make a great healthy topping for soups, pastas, muesli or salads. 
  • Once you've finished with your pumpkin shell don't forget to compost it or alternatively place on top of your food waste caddie for collection.

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Posted on 31/10/2022