Can I Recycle Halloween Decorations?


Another Halloween has come and gone, and many of us are faced with a disposal dilemma. What to do with all those spooky decorations? Sure, you can save reusable decorations for next year’s Halloween swap. But if your creepy décor items are a little worse for wear, it can be tough to know what to do other than toss them in the trash. Don’t fret, Earth-lover. Here are ways to recycle five common Halloween decorations today.

Photo: Flickr/Free Flower

1. String lights

Did a string of orange or white Halloween lights inexplicably go dead this year? Don’t toss them in the trash! Recycle them online and get discounts on eco-friendly lights for all your holiday decorating at

Through their Christmas Light Recycling Program, the site collects unwanted lights and gives 25 percent discounts for energy-efficient alternatives. Just mail in your lights, and you’ll start getting discount coupons once a month through email. And don’t be fooled by the name. The program accepts string lights of all colors, from orange to white to purple.

2. Paper wall hangings

Life-size ghouls, black cats and other paper wall hangings are pretty popular at Halloween. But are they recyclable? If you have single-stream recycling that includes metal scraps (like the steel and brass used for metal eyelets on most Halloween decorations), you can toss the whole thing right into the bin. Just pick off the tape before recycling.

If you sort your recyclables or don’t have curbside recycling, carefully remove all tape and metal eyelets from the decorations. Metal scraps, no matter how small, are recyclable. So, use Earth911 to find a recycling solution for paper and scrap metal in your area.

3. Fake cobwebs

Believe it or not, fake cobwebs made from 100 percent cotton or plant-based fibers are completely biodegradable and safe for your compost pile. If your cobwebs are made from synthetic fibers or you just want to find a cool way to reuse them, try crafting stuffed animals with the kids.

Fake cobwebs are basically the same fiber as the stuffing you’d purchase from an arts and crafts store. So, you can easily ball them up and substitute them for purchased stuffing in a number of plush animal crafts, like this adorable drawing-inspired creation from Martha Stewart. Use old T-Shirts, sweaters or other clothing for added reuse flair.

4. Plastic décor

Those chasing arrows on the bottom of your plastic cauldrons, pumpkins and other decorations don’t necessarily mean you can toss them in the curbside bin. Look at the number inside the recycling symbol (called the plastic resin code) first to see what you’re dealing with.

Most communities don’t collect all types of plastic for recycling. So, consult your municipality’s Website to find out which plastics are accepted in your local curbside program. For plastics you can’t recycle curbside, use Earth911 to find a recycling solution for all kinds of plastic resins.

5. Streamers and balloons

A Halloween party just wouldn’t be complete without all those streamers and balloons (in orange and black of course!). But once the party is over, the leftovers can be downright scary. Never fear, party-goer. All these bits of waste are recyclable.

Streamers are recyclable with mixed paper. So, if your curbside program offers mixed paper recycling, they’re perfectly acceptable for your bin (just remove the tape first). If you don’t have access to curbside recycling, use Earth911 to find a paper recycler in your area.

For all those latex and rubber balloons at your party – just toss them in the compost pile! That’s right. Rubber and latex are both plant-derived materials, making them biodegradable and safe for your pile.

READ: 10 Uses for Your Halloween Pumpkin

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