Buncombe composting: New options & free composting event Nov. 5

Press release from Buncombe County 

Buncombe County and the City of Asheville are celebrating one year of the free residential compost drop-off program! During this time, we have been able to open four food scraps drop-off sites for residents to use free of charge, including the newly opened West Asheville library location.

Stephens-Lee Recreation Center

Where it all began! This pilot location was opened in September 2021, and was made possible by funding through the NRDC’s Food Matters grant.
Did you know? When registering for this program, residents are eligible to receive a free compost kitchen tote for easy scrap collection! You can pick yours up at this location only (for now).

Stephens-Lee has collected 102,650 pounds (that’s 51 tons!) of food waste over the past year. That’s definitely something to celebrate!

Buncombe County Landfill

The Landfill drop-off location opened not long after Stephens-Lee for our residents in the northern parts of the County. This location is unique because it is the only location where you can also recycle your cooking oil when dropping off your food scraps!
The Landfill location has collected 3420 pounds (that’s 1.21 tons!) of food waste over the past 11 months. While that may seem small compared to Stephens-Lee, every carrot peel, apple core, and chicken bone that’s diverted helps keep waste out of the landfill.

Murphy Oakley Recreation Center/Library

Also made possible by the Food Matters grant, this location opened in July 2022 and has already been very popular among neighborhood residents.
The Oakley location has collected 6600 pounds (that’s 3.3 tons!) of food waste over the past two months.

West Asheville Library (New!)

The County’s newest location, made possible by the DEQ’s Community Waste Reduction and Recycling grant, opened in September 2022.
Come check out a book from the library and drop off your food scraps at the same time!

Collectively, since its inception, the program has diverted 112,700 pounds (or about 56 tons) of residential food scraps. Over the next 10 months, there could be as many as three more drop-off locations around the County. To stay up to date, make sure you’re following @buncomberecycles on Instagram, or check our websites frequently:

Buncombe County composting

Asheville composting

Are you interested in composting at home instead? The County and City both have resources on their websites to help get you started! And of course, while composting is a great way to divert waste from the landfill, reducing waste at the source is the ultimate goal. Make sure to read the signage on all of our sheds to guide you in your food waste reduction journey, and refer to the other blog posts for more ideas on how to reduce your organic waste!

Help us Celebrate One Year of Community Compost Drop-Off

Have you ever wondered what happens to all the food scraps we collect at the four drop-off sites? Maybe you’re interested in composting, but want more information before starting. Are you looking to give your garden or flower beds a free nutritional boost? If so, Buncombe County Solid Waste and the City of Asheville invite you to a free event aimed at celebrating the composting process and increasing the accessibility of composting to County residents. As an incentive, we’re giving away free compost soil and other items to get you going on your journey. This event is open to everyone of all ages – from the composting curious to seasoned veterans.

Composting is great for the environment because it reduces waste, encourages beneficial bacteria, reduces methane emissions, and lowers our carbon footprint all while making a beneficial product for our environment. We know composting may seem intimidating, but this event will provide the education and resources to make it simple and easy.

Buncombe County and the City of Asheville are holding this event to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the drop-off composting initiative. The event is free and open to the public.

What: Free composting celebration

When: Saturday, Nov. 5, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: Lucy S. Herring Elementary School Garden, 98 Sulphur Springs Road (garden can be accessed from Harnett Street), Asheville

Composting event highlights:

§ Free compost (bring your own pail)
§ Free kitchen totes (to collect home food scraps in)
§ Free snacks
§ Educational information and handouts
§ Composting demonstrations
§ Kids’ activities
§ Fun!

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Mountain Xpress posts selected news and information of local interest as a public service for our readers. To submit press releases and other community material for possible publication, email news@mountainx.com.

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