City calls for residents to bag leaves in sturdy paper

Paper leaf bags

Press release from the City of Asheville:

Dear Asheville,

We’d like you to offer you a new solution for leaf collection this season: paper bags!

They are so totally useful — compostable and more eco-friendly. Below is a guide on how to use them effectively, with as little hassle as possible to you, our residents.

Thank you,

City of Asheville


Question: Why use paper bags for leaf collection?

Answer: The City of Asheville is encouraging the use of brown paper bags for leaf collection for several reasons, such as environmental reasons. In an experiment with a local vendor, staff found that they are compostable, and therefore using them is a more environmentally sustainable practice.

Collecting leaves in paper bags is also a big time saver for Sanitation staff. This helps the Sanitation Department save money and provide more efficient service for our taxpayers.

An estimated 10,000 tons of brush and leaves are collected annually within the city limits. The use of biodegradable materials is a better waste management practice.

Numerous cities across the U.S. require paper bags for collection. So far, the City of Asheville is encouraging their use.

Q: Where do I find them?

A: Paper leaf collection bags are available at local home and hardware stores as well as many grocery stores. You can also buy them online. Please be sure to buy bags without plastic liners.

Q: Aren’t paper bags more expensive?

A: They are comparable in price to other options. For example, you can find an eight-count package of 30-gallon bags for as low as 39 cents each.

Q: Won’t the paper bags disintegrate if it rains?

A: Though these bags are heavy duty, rain can affect them. If that happens, Sanitation workers will still collect your leaves, using a shovel to scoop them up.

Q: What can go in paper bags?

A: Leaves and small twigs only should go in the paper bags. Garden and yard waste such as vines and tree or shrub limbs should go to the curb for brush collection. No grass clippings please.

Q: If I don’t want to use bags, can I use a container instead?

A: Yes! Please do label your container “leaves” so that our Sanitation workers clearly understand they have leaves in them.

Q: How else can I dispose of my leaves?

A: Compost them at home! Composting eliminates the chore of bagging leaves. Along with leaves, you can compost much of your kitchen waste.

Compost improves your soil and helps retain water. Use it in flower and vegetable gardens, around trees and shrubs, and on houseplants and lawns.

So feed your landscape, not the landfill. For composting tips, visit this link.

Want more information?

Please visit the City of Asheville Sanitation Division webpage.

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