As America Recycles Day approaches on Nov. 15, we tip our hat to the many Asheville households dedicated to sustainable living practices. And as a City we want to encourage everyone to get involved with this initiative.
“America Recycles Day is a national initiative to learn about and highlight individual’s consumption and curb the amount of trash entering into the waste stream,” said Amber Weaver, the City’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “America Recycles Day asks that the individual learns about their recycling opportunities, act (participate) in ways to reduce the amount of products you consume personally, and share your stories and ideas on how to be a more sustainable consumer.”
New City of Asheville recycling webpage
Also, this year for America Recycles Day, the City of Asheville and its Sustainability Office have redesigned the City’s recycling webpage to help people gain a better understanding of their everyday product purchases and how to reduce waste at the source.
“It’s a collective effort to reach the City’s 50% waste reduction goal by 2035, and learn more about the City’s residential recycling program,” Weaver said.
More recycling than ever with new pilot program
In October, the City of Asheville’s Office of Sustainability and Department of Sanitation, in partnership with the Asheville Housing Authority’s Residents’ Council and Asheville GreenWorks, launched a pilot project to improve recycling services in three of Asheville Housing’s developments for 280 households that were formerly without access to recycling. Starting Oct. 1, the City extended its recycling services contract to include pickup in the Livingston, Erskine and Walton Housing Developments.
With $21,625 in funding from the N.C. Dept. of Environmental Quality, the City provided 280 in-apartment recycling bins and 280 large rolling cart recycling bins for curbside pickup.
How is it working so far?
Thirty-four percent of households in the pilot program area recycled in the first week alone. Before recycling was available these communities produced an average of 11,400 pounds of trash per week. That quickly reduced to 8,680 pounds of trash and 1,820 pounds of recycling. And we are working with our partners to increase that number. Over a three day workshop in November, provided by GreenWorks, residents came to learn about recycling practices and items allowed and not accepted in the City’s curbside recycling program. GreenWorks will host two more events throughout the pilot to encourage participation rates and ensure proper recycling items are making it to the bin.
The aim is to divert 14 tons of waste from entering the landfill, increase public awareness about recycling and recycle 14 tons of materials by June 30, 2016.
What can you recycle in Asheville?
Plastics #1 through 7: Including plastic bottles and jugs, soft drink and water bottles, many kinds of food containers, shampoo bottles, pill bottles and more.
Glass, even if it’s broken: All glass bottles and jars are accepted, including green, blue, brown and clear glass.
Cardboard and cartons: Besides regular and corrugated cardboard, this includes egg cartons, cereal boxes, frozen food boxes, milk, juice and wine boxes in addition to phone books, brown paper bags and more.
Paper: Recycle office and school paper of all colors, plus newspaper, magazines, catalogues, paperback books magazines and wrapping paper.
Metals: Metal cans, (aluminum, steel, and tin) aluminum pie tins, aluminum food tins and trays, metal lids from glass jars and trays, and empty aerosol cans.
For more information about recycling, visit ashevillenc.gov/recycling.