New recycling cans mean ‘No More Sorting’ in Asheville

New cans ready for use getting a final check from Shane Turner. Photo by Bill Rhodes

Ashley Crawford slides in the axle of a new can, and puts the wheels on both sides. He rolls it out to Brian Graham of Charlotte who attaches instructions and a bar code. Down to the groud it goes, a brand new blue City of Asheville 90-gallon recycling can, wheeled to a driveway by either Brad Haukom of Mobile, AL or Shane Turner of Charlotte, the can ready to swallow a lifetime of plastic, glass, metal, and cardboard.

“People don’t have to sort, starting ysterday, even if they don’t yet have the new cans,” says Maggie Ulhman of The City of Asheville. “Not only do you not have to sort, but you can now recycle plastics 1-7.” The industry calls this Single Stream collection, but the term does not seem to be sticking outside of white papers, which incidentally, can be tossed in the new cans too. Residents of the Burton Street area who were in the pilot program like the cans, and the ease of use of not having to sort. “West Asheville is getting the cans first due to logistics and operational concerns, the whole city will have them within a month,” said Ulman. “Even if you don’t have them yet, the trucks are set up to take unsorted recyclables. Go for it. Let us know how it works”

Workers Shane Turner and Brad Haukom (right) deliver a new 90-gallon recyling container on Manilla Street in West Asheville. The city hopes the new cans will increase participation in the recyling program by making it easier for residents.

Brotherhg Barlow of Manilla Street watched from his porch as they delivered his new can. “I sure hope this gets people to use them more, I see people dumping all kinds of recyclables in the green cans all the time,” said Barlow.

Meanwhile on the truck, Brian Graham blows on his hands. “Sure is a different March up here than it is in Charlotte,” he says, “Man, I don’t know if I could get used to this or not.” The city is counting on residents to get used to the blue cans, just like they did with the green ones a generation ago.

If you live near Sand Hill Road in West Asheville, the future is today.

The city has made this informational and entertaining video about the new program.


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