Westgate recycling center closes

On Dec. 31, the recycling location at the Westgate Shopping Center saw its final day.

The Westgate center was operated by GDS Asheville, the company contracted to handle the city’s solid waste, through a joint contract with the city and Buncombe County. However, the property owners refused to extend the center’s lease, and on Dec. 31, it closed.

Four other recycling locations exist in Buncombe, including the county landfill and transfer station as well as two Curbside Management-run locations, one on Merrimon Avenue and another on North Woodfin Street.

“We’re encouraging residents to one of those alternate locations,” the city’s Solid Waste Manager Wendy Simmons says, adding that a survey conducted by the city found that more county than city residents used the Westgate location. “We’re assuming that the volume from the center will go to other centers.”

Nonetheless, “the more recycling options the better,” Simmons says. “We have a resident base here that’s very motivated to recycle. I think they’re going to find a way to recycle, but the more locations, the better.”

“As usual the recycling center behind WestGate shopping center was a beehive of activity this morning,” Jeff Tallman, a regular user of the center who works for Xpress in distribution, observed on its last day. “In some cases, such as the cardboard and newspaper units, the bins had been serviced but surrounding piles of material left to soak in the mud.  I don’t blame the owners of this property for letting the agreement expire—no one in their right mind would want this mess in their back yard. If they would have at least assigned a person to pick up around the bins for a few minutes a day, this situation could have been a lot more presentable.”

— David Forbes, senior news reporter

Photos by Jeff Tallman

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4 thoughts on “Westgate recycling center closes

  1. David Oppenheimer

    Anti-progress – thanks Earth Fare for not stepping up to the plate and keeping this facility open!

  2. Viking

    A few days after the Westgate site closed I went there (of course no go) and then tried the site off Merrimon behind Asheville Pizza and Brewing (Long St.). It was overfilling.

    I expect the Long Street site will be almost always in a state of overflow until new recycling sites appear. The constituency for drive up recycling are in central, east and south Asheville. Nothing for those folks now.

    Apartment dwellers often do not have Curbside Management recycling. Who’s in charge of this one?

  3. Meg

    Does anyone see the irony in people going to the recycling center, to only improperly dispose of their own garbage? People really amaze me sometimes.

    • StrellaMarlo

      Thats really surprising how people can be so careless about hygiene and about our environment. Why government is not take some serious action on such people making recycling center a dumping ground???

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