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Here's how you can have a more eco-friendly Halloween

You can bring your pumpkins to Payson Park in Portland on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon for the city's Pumpkin-Cycle event.

PORTLAND, Maine — Halloween is here! And with it comes all of the wonderful decorations, costumes, jack-o'-lanterns, and of course, candy — but all those things generate a lot of waste.

"We do often see an influx of waste, and unfortunately, some of it is not recyclable," Matt Grondin, director of communications for ecomaine said.

Grondin said it's common to see an increase in waste around all holidays, and Halloween is certainly no different. 

"We want to do the best we can to divert things into the right stream," Grondin said. 

Grondin said one of the most common mistakes people make around Halloween is throwing candy wrappers into the recycling. 

"Some of the things we see in the recycling are candy wrappers, of course. All the candy on Halloween — the trash needs to go somewhere. Sometimes it goes into the recycling and that's not where it should go. It's plastic — it should go right into the trash," Grondin said. 

Grondin added that while many decorations and costumes are made of recycled materials like cardboard, you should try and see if those items can be used again before they're tossed in the recycling bin.

"A lot of the things like that don't need to go into the trash. A lot of times you can repurpose it, you can donate it, you can use it again," Grondin said.

One of the stranger items that Grondin said he and his team see in their recycling facility around Halloween, are pumpkins. However, sustainability experts say the best thing you can do with your pumpkin is compost it.

"After the squirrels are done eating part of the pumpkin, you can bring it to our Pumpkin-Cycle and we'll finish the job," Troy Moon, the City of Portland sustainability director, said. 

On Saturday, November 5 from 9 a.m. to noon, you can bring your jack-o'-lanterns to Payson Park in Portland for a Pumpkin-Cycle event. Moon said the city will collect pumpkins, then work with ecomaine for proper disposal.  

"You can save money by reducing the amount of city trash bags that you have to buy while also putting your food scraps to a higher use," Moon said.

If you are not able to attend the Pumpkin-Cycle event, you can visit one of Portland's eight community compositing locations and dispose of your pumpkin there.

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