Eco-friendly alternatives to disposing Halloween costumes and wrappers

Posted at 1:18 AM, Nov 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-02 16:40:11-04

Ah, the beginning of November. Those sad sobering days when the Superman cape is removed as you venture into the world as yourself again. But the idea of where that cape is removed -- has waste management officials speaking out about the importance of reusing.

"You never know how you're going to be able to repurpose a wig for another costume, say, um or a cape or something like that," said Natalie Monroe, Communications Coordinator at City of Boise.

According to the latest data by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, textile waste has seen a rise in recent years, and much of it continues to clog our landfills.

"Sending things to the landfill, that's, obviously nobody feels really good about that," said Monroe.

But something you can feel really good about: "We are always looking for donations, regardless of the season," said Shelly Parsons, Production Supervisor of Idaho Youth Ranch, a Boise thrift store.

Second-hand stores like this one help give a second life to costumes that you might not want to wear anymore. And what pieces they aren't able to sell, "goes back to, um, our distribution center and re-used," said Parsons.

But if you can't make it out to donate your costumes this year, officials warn not to recycle costumes that don't fit recycling criteria. Rather, they say, throw those out if you must.

"When in doubt, throw it out. A lot of those plastics are not recyclable-- especially those vinyls that go into the masks and things like that. And so really you're just contaminating the plastics that you've recycled correctly," said Monroe.

Speaking of correct plastics, you know those pesky plastic candy bar wrappers you've been finding all over your house?

"What's something that's really exciting about those orange energy bags, is that candy wrappers-- for the first time-- get to be recycled."

As long as you take any paper products out of those candies, waste can now go from one orange container to the next.