Campus News

Stay sustainable this spooky season

Arden Barnes | UK Photo
Arden Barnes | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 17, 2023) — Don’t let spooky season scare you away from celebrating sustainably. With the help of University of Kentucky Recycling, here are easy ideas for you to reduce your waste this Halloween.

  • Compost your pumpkins. Pumpkins and gourds that are on campus can be composted. If you have some from decorations or events you’d like to compost, contact UK Recycling ( to pick them up.
  • Reuse decorations. Unfortunately, a lot of spooky decorations are made of nonrecyclable plastics/material and are discarded as the holiday passes. Reuse your decorations each year to avoid waste. Bonus tip: Instead of buying new pumpkin carving tools, use knives/spoons you already have.
  • Stay sustainable at gatherings. Avoid single-use products like plates, cups or cutlery at Halloween gatherings. Remember you can recycle all cans and bottles as well as paper and plastic cups on UK’s campus.
  • Landfill wrappers and chip bags. Unfortunately, candy wrappers and chip bags are NOT recyclable at UK.
  • Thrift a costume. For last minute costume ideas, try thrifting for a costume, re-imagining what’s in your closet, re-imagining parts from an old costume or borrowing a friend’s old costume.

For information about what is recyclable at UK visit For any other information about UK recycling, visit or contact           

To stay up to date on UK Recycling’s activities and changes on campus, follow @ukyrecycles on all social media.

For information about how to properly dispose of pumpkins off campus, please contact your local solid waste coordinator or local government officer.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.