Help avoid any spooky surprises in bins this Halloween

The image shows a white ghost and black bats on an orange background, with cobwebs. The bottom of the split screen image shows fireworks on a navy background.
Halloween and Bonfire Night waste advice

Residents can keep the recycling in North Kesteven looking frightfully good by being extra ‘scareful’ this Halloween and ensuring only the right things go in bins.

Halloween is an opportunity to have some community-minded fun with costumes, parties and nice things to eat. All the extra items and packaging at this time of year can cause problems however if they’re put in the wrong bins at home.

Here are the top six spooky things to make sure don’t slip into your recycling: 

  • Halloween decorations, such as faux wreaths and plastic pumpkins.

    Could they go on to spook again? Give them to a charity shop now if so.

    If they have given up the ghost – and have no batteries or electronics in – put them in your black bin to be made into electricity in North Hykeham.

    If they have electronics or batteries then take them to your Household Waste Recycling Centre instead, which helps ensure any valuable metals and components inside are not lost. Anything with batteries, wires or electronics must NEVER go in your household bins.

    Plain paper or card decorations which are not foiled or shiny can go in your purple-lidded bin provided embellishments or ribbons are removed.
  • Hard plastics must stay out of your recycling too, including Halloween masks, toys, props, and plastic buckets to collect sweets.

    These can be donated ideally before Halloween if in good condition, or put in your black bin only to be made into electricity in North Hykeham.
  • Good condition Halloween costumes can be donated if your little ghouls and ghosts have had a growth spurt and no longer fit them. Alternatively, you could try clothes recycling points in some shops or local clothing banks. If in bad condition you could cut them up for Halloween décor – perhaps to make children’s placemats and the scraps used as spooky rags to hang up. If not, put them in your black bin only to be made into electricity.  
  • Soft plastics such as sweet and cake bar wrappers, the thin plastic around trays of cakes, crisp packets, bread bags and other plastic food wrappers are ghoulish all year round. They can’t go in your recycling at all. You can however pop them into soft plastic recycling points at shops. If that’s not possible, then put into your black bin only at home to be made into electricity.

    The solid tins or tubs which contained the sweets can go in your green-lidded bin, however pouches and packets are soft plastics and can’t.
  • Real pumpkins and the flesh inside should go in your black bin only. Choose an edible pumpkin to carve and make pumpkin pie or soup, and roast the seeds for a soup or salad topping. When your pumpkin is looking less boo-tiful, put it in your black bin only to be made into electricity.

    Don’t put it in your garden waste bin - they can’t be composted like your usual garden waste as they have been handled. Please don’t leave them outdoors for wildlife either as this can spread disease to wild animals.

If you’re unsure on any item, check the Council’s A-Z of recycling at or the Right Thing Right Bin leaflet also there.

In advance of Bonfire Night, these are also some great tips to remember:

  • No hot ashes can go in your bins, however cold ashes can go in your black bin only. Make sure they are completely cool.
  • Sparklers must be soaked thoroughly and put in the black bin only.
  • Spent/used fireworks must go in your black bin only.
  • Misfired or dud fireworks must be soaked overnight in a bucket of water, and only then disposed of. They must go in your black bin only.
  • Light-up electronics like light-up wands and headbands are becoming popular at displays and events. If you buy these, do keep and reuse them. If broken, they must go to your Household Waste Recycling Centre and not put in your household bins as they pose a fire risk to crews.

For more collections and waste information, sign up for e-newsletters at You can find others there including on climate.

It comes as the Council finishes marking Recycle Week, from 16 October to 23 October and led by WRAP, which asked people to join the #BigRecyclingHunt. Every effort households make to reduce, reuse and ensure only the right things go in recycling bins (and all clean and dry, with no liquid or food residue) has a huge impact on ensuring more can be recycled from homes in North Kesteven.

It’s also just over two years since the first District-wide purple-lidded bin collections for clean and dry paper and card only. In that first collection, in the week of 27 September 2021, 98.5% of purple-lidded bins were correctly filled and emptied and residents have kept up this amazing effort since. Over the last year a fantastic 98.62% perfect quality paper and cardboard was collected in North Kesteven thanks to households’ Right Thing Right Bin efforts.

For the latest news on North Kesteven District Council visit our council news pages

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