Asheville area’s litter shows lack of stewardship

I am confounded by the lack of stewardship that derives from Asheville’s collectively environmentally driven consciousness, specifically in regard to litter.

Since moving here, I have walked down my road on several occasions to retrieve the detritus left by others only to find it fully replenished within several days.

The Interstate 26 corridor stays perpetually strewn with litter with seeming continuity from Hendersonville until its almost ironical culmination at the junkyard at the Interstate 40 confluence. Lyman Street, where I often jog, is appallingly worse.

What does the state of our thoroughfares say to outsiders? It is our fortune to be located so near to such treasures as Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Consequently, I feel that it is our duty to lead by example and keep this gateway community pristine. Let’s all do our part to keep Asheville beautiful.

Drew Ricci


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9 thoughts on “Asheville area’s litter shows lack of stewardship

  1. Dionysis

    “What does the state of our thoroughfares say to outsiders?”

    Probably something like “well it seems a lot of people in this area consider the great outdoors a big open-air trash dump just like back home.”

  2. Jessica P.

    I can’t agree with this one bit. I am from Northern New Jersey, the NYC metro area, and when I got to Asheville, one of the very first things I noticed was its cleanliness. I have also lived in Tampa, FL and Fort Lauderdale, FL, both in way more of a horrendous state than here. I guess it comes down to perspective. Go to some place with more filth, and you will see that this is probably one of the most pristine medium size cities there are. As for litterbugs, all we can do is teach those around us and show a good example, right?

    • Dionysis

      I agree that one’s perspective is relevant. Having lived in Tampa myself, it certainly is in far worse shape, but that does not make this area close to “pristine”. Someone mentioned Charlotte being much cleaner and it is. So is Greenville and Columbia, SC, Charlottesville VA (where I also lived), Va. Beach and many other places I’ve klived or visited. Far less trash on the roads than around here.

      No one could disagree that we all should be responsible and give examples. I personally throw nothing out of my car; it all goes in a trash bag or in the passenger floor for a weekly cleaning. And based upon my observation of the past 10 years of driving around here, cars with NC tags are just as prone to litter as those with other state tags. It may not be a scientific study, but it seems quite true. Slobs are everywhere.

  3. Bob R.

    I couldn’t agree with you more. We live in a low tax state. The city and county can’t afford to clean up all the mess. The people who litter do not care and are unlikely to change.

    The only advice I have for you is to lead a group to clean up the areas you’d like to clean up. A local environmental organization called the Asheville Greenworks provides dozens of groups every weeks to beautify and clean their their local communities.

    If you need another volunteer, email me.

  4. YupYup

    Go to Charlotte even and see how clean it is compared to here. I love Asheville but both the tourists and the hippies are dirty.
    City council spent a year’s salary on all these fancy trashcans – use them people!
    And for heavens sake pick up your d-m cigarette butts. You may smoke only organic tobacco but those butts are still nasty toxic trash.

  5. Althea

    By all means, don’t waste an opportunity to Hippy bash, because you know that driving hybrids, bringing cloth grocery bags, and throwing trash all over the roads go hand-in-hand. Every Hippy I personally know pockets his butts to dispose of later. Just because you see people smoking doesn’t mean they’re trashing Asheville.

    • boatrocker

      Ooooh burn! Perhaps people confuse the back to the Earth types with the “Hey, got a buck?” types as vilified in recent letters promoting city guidelines on buskers aka confusing them with beggars and Charles Dickens like street urchins.

      Back to the land types don’t beg for money- they eschew tourists and build their own house far out in the country in order to spare everyone else the pain of listening to them learn to play the banjo. So when they play on the street, it’s tight. They also have clean water sources to bathe in.
      Pro- banjo, by the way.

  6. Naddina

    I always thought Asheville to be such a clean place compared to other cities! But things are changing Tash is being dumped everywhere!
    The problem is Home / Land Tax has increased but not to serve the citizens in the County!What are they doing with the Tax money?
    We need Waste Management controlled by the County!Not everyone can afford to pay $25.00 per Item,that adds up, if you have old couch TV so on! Some families struggle to put food on the Table that will take priority, the trash will be dumped somewhere nearest or Burned polluting the air!
    Yet we pay upkeep for Quality Air Control, they can’t do anything! Call in they want you to report whose burning the Trash!
    What if you smell plastic smoke in the Air,you dont know whos doing it?
    Waste management in the County will keep the Air we breath clean,the Litter off the Streets!

  7. Beth HILL Hill

    I try to be “kind” to the environment by not littering and recycling appropriate materials, especially junk mail, catalogs, glass, containers, plastics and other paper. I am an e-subscriber to the ACT because I do not want more paper to recycle.
    For the last several months, the ACT has been leaving a sale flyer, published by them, in a plastic wrapper in driveways in Asheville. When I travel, several of these are in my drive when I return. I consider this as despicable as someone who would throw a McDonalds bag in my yard. The result is the same: I am picking up litter because the Asheville Citizen Times has no regard for littering on private property and residential streets in Asheville.

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