Sainsbury's tackles ghoulish garden garbage with pumpkin recycling scheme

In the run-up to Halloween, Sainsbury's has launched a scheme to encourage customers to recycle their unwanted pumpkins locally through WRAP's Recycle Now campaign.

Sainsbury's expects to sell over a million pumpkins this week, 99% of which will be wastefully discarded

Sainsbury's expects to sell over a million pumpkins this week, 99% of which will be wastefully discarded

As part of the recycling initiative, customers will be able to bring their unwanted pumpkins back to 10 trial stores; to be turned into energy via anaerobic digestion through Sainsbury's waste partner Biffa. The energy generated will, in some cases, be used to power Sainsbury’s stores.

Sainsbury’s believes the new scheme will also encourage more customers across the country to compost at home. 

Landfill diversion

The supermarket chain expects to sell over a million pumpkins this week alone - 99% of which will be used for lantern carving before being wastefully discarded. According to waste management company, around 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin gets sent to landfill every year. 

Sainsbury's head of sustainability Paul Crewe said: "We know that lots of people will be buying a pumpkin this Halloween - but what happens after we've carved it? We want to make sure that once the spooky festivities are over we're helping customers to get rid of their pumpkins in the right way."

Pumpkin recycling points are available in the recycling areas of the following stores:

- Watford
- Letchworth
- Biggleswade
- Fairfield Park
- Wellingborough
- Kettering
- Weedon Road
- Kempston
- Huntingdon
- Northampton
- Hitchin

The scheme is the latest in a series of recycling ideas generated by Sainsbury’s colleagues, including Easter egg and Christmas card recycling.

Sainsbury’s has achieved its 20x20 sustainability target of putting all its store waste to positive use – and diverting it from landfill. The supermarket chain recentl collaborated with Biffa for an innovative power ‘hook up’ that allows Sainsbury’s Cannock store to run on power generated solely from the supermarket’s own food waste.

Lois Vallely


anaerobic digestion | food | WRAP


Waste & resource management
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