How to Manage Business Waste at Halloween

The amount of extra food, plastic, and packaging waste households produce celebrating Halloween every year is well known. But businesses across the UK are just as responsible for generating lots more rubbish as spooky season starts. Having a sustainable plan in place to deal with and recycle commercial Halloween waste is vital for any organisation.

Think about how many shops, pubs, and offices are decorated in October – almost all of them. Businesses are a big contributor to the thousands of tons of excess waste Halloween generates every year in the UK. It means business owners are in a good position to help reduce and recycle Halloween waste though.

Explore ways to effectively manage and reduce the amount of waste your company produces this Halloween to save money and the environment with these tips.

Visit our Halloween waste hub
food shop window decorated for halloween.

Plan your company’s Halloween party perfectly

Workplace Halloween parties are a great socialising and teambuilding opportunity – at a good midpoint between summer and Christmas parties. Plenty of preparation will go into the venue, decorations, food, and entertainment. The more carefully you plan things, the easier it is to limit the waste your company’s Halloween party generates.

Order any food based on the number of attendees to minimise how much might be leftover and cut down on food waste. Use glasses for drinks and any plates and cutlery from your workplace kitchen, rather than disposable plastic cups and plates, to cut down on plastic waste.

Check if you or any employees already own Halloween decorations you can use rather than buying new ones. If not, consider making decorations from materials like paper and cardboard, which can be recycled easily afterwards. You could use such an activity as another teambuilding exercise.

champagne on ice with pumpkin.

Recycle your commercial Halloween waste

Hopefully your business already uses a variety of different bins to separate its waste types and send as much as possible for recycling. If you only run a small operation though, you might just have a dry mixed recycling bin that meets your daily recycling needs.

When it’s Halloween you may produce more and a wider variety of recyclable waste. Instead of chucking this in with your mixed recycling or general waste bin, using specific recycling bins for each waste stream should ensure as much as possible is recycled. Common items for your business to recycle around Halloween include:

  • Packaging waste – sweet wrappers and food packaging create lots of waste for businesses at Halloween, some of which may be recyclable.
  • Glass recycling – use a glass bin to recycle any empty, rinsed out glass beer, wine, and other bottles from your work Halloween party.
  • Plastic waste – many Halloween decorations are made from plastic and might be recyclable, while you can recycle most clean and empty plastic drinks bottles.
  • Paper recycling – paper decorations or sheets used for Halloween party games such as a quiz should be put in a paper recycling bin.
  • Cardboard recycling – cardboard decorations may include haunting Halloween signs, while cardboard packaging for deliveries of costumes, décor, and food should be recycled responsibly.

Increase bin collections

As your business may generate more waste celebrating Halloween, it only makes sense that you’ll need to get your bins collected more often. In preparation for producing more rubbish means you can order bigger bins to store it or arrange more frequent collections in October and early November to manage your waste effectively.

Work out what waste types and how much extra rubbish you might produce to avoid overfilling bins and being hit with overweight charges. Aside from recycling, your general waste output may increase and need managing too. Planning extra bin collections in advance avoids waste stacking up on your premises, which may cause safety, hygiene, and unsightly issues.

If you’re just having a Halloween party at work, you might only need to add an extra one-off collection to cover the excess waste created. Should you have a whole month of celebrations planned – including decorations, parties, and dress-up days – you may need to increase your bin collections for a few weeks.

Contact us to adapt your business waste collections for Halloween.

halloween gravestone decorations for sale in shop.

Bring in extra bin types

Alongside producing more general waste and recycling, your commercial Halloween celebrations can create specialist waste with which you don’t normally deal. You can use specialist bins that ensure such rubbish is disposed of safely, sustainably, and recycled where possible – rather than going to landfill.

Consider using specialist bins to store and dispose of other waste your business produces at Halloween for:

  • Food waste – if your business doesn’t normally serve food but will be at your Halloween party, use a food bin for any waste. This ensures it’s sent for anaerobic digestion and used to generate energy rather than rotting in landfill.
  • Battery bins – many Halloween decorations use batteries that can run out. Due to the chemicals they contain, disposing of them separately in a battery waste bin is the safe and responsible option.
  • WEEE waste – broken light strings and electronic decorations used by your business for Halloween should be disposed of with WEEE waste. This way they’re broken down into separate materials and as much as possible is recycled.
  • Lightbulbs – green, orange, and other coloured light bulbs add an eerie effect to your office, shop, or restaurant at Halloween. When any lightbulbs reach the end of their life you can’t throw them away with glass recycling due to their wires – instead arrange separate collection and recycling.

Reuse Halloween decorations

The easiest way for your business to go green this Halloween and significantly reduce how much waste you produce is to keep as much as possible. Store any Halloween decorations, costumes, tablecloths, themed plates, cutlery, and anything else for next year. This saves money as well as reducing waste.

Where cost cutting isn’t essential, consider letting your employees take home any Halloween decorations to use in their own homes. You could also donate any to local charity shops if your business doesn’t have space to store them for 12 months.

You can easily repurpose some decorations, such as using Halloween light strings to decorate your business at Christmas – as they’re essentially the same as fairy lights. Just remove any specific spooky references if there are any. Other ideas include transforming sheets, paper, and other white decorations into snowy décor. And there are ways to recycle Halloween decorations.

Learn how to have a low waste Halloween
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