As the season changes, many people turn to getting in the autumnal and Halloween spirit by decorating their homes with spooky decorations and large pumpkins. The activity of pumpkin picking has become so popular, that many farms in mid-Wales are offering their own pumpkin picking activities.

But Powys County Council are urging residents to be mindful of the waste they create when engaging in activities such as pumpkin carving.

According to new research from environmental charity Hubbub, this year 30 million pumpkins are expected to be bought for carving in the UK, of which 16 million will be thrown out with the normal household rubbish. That is the equivalent of 95 million meals worth of pumpkins set to go to waste, worth £26.7 million.

Powys residents will go through around 63,000 pumpkins this Halloween, creating around 135 tonnes of extra food waste in the process. It's estimated that a lot of pumpkins don't get eaten, and instead are used simply for decoration.

Powys County Council are asking that old pumpkin shells be added to your compost heap or cut up and popped into your food caddy. If they are really big, and not rotten, they can be left on top of your kerbside food caddy for a one-off post-Halloween collection by council crews. However, candles must be removed.

Cabinet Member for a Greener Powys, Cllr Jackie Charlton, said: "Most people in Powys do a great job of recycling their food waste each week. So this year, we really hope that they will keep up the good work and add any leftover bits of Halloween pumpkins to their food waste caddy.

"It is fascinating to know that for every recycled pumpkin shell we generate enough energy to power the average family home for an hour, and goes a long way to support Wales' drive to create more green energy through anaerobic digestion plants.

"So please remember, once you've scooped out your pumpkin, eaten all you can, had fun making scary lanterns, just remember to pop your leftovers in the food bin and play your part in a cleaner, greener future."

For more information on food waste, recycling, and your kerbside recycling containers, or for handy hints and tips on what can and can't be recycled, please visit Bins, Rubbish and Recycling.