A convenient illusion: On average, the city of Asheville produces 22,400 tons of trash a year. What's the cost of all that waste? Some say the things we throw away are affecting now just our environment but our culture as well.

The consequenc­e of waste: Buncombe’s discarded problem is piling up

From the Get It! Guide: A close look at the trash collected in Asheville was shocking — 26 percent of our waste is compostable matter, 18 percent is recyclable and 56 percent is true waste, fit only for the landfill. With the city alone producing over 22,000 tons of trash a year, what is the cost of all that waste. And what is it going to take for us to reduce it?

Near Zero: Cady and Guyton Construction built this West Asheville near-net-zero home in 2013. It generates about enough renewable energy to power the entire structure. photo by Claudia Cady

Energy goes local

Why invest in local energy? That’s like asking why choose a local, organic apple over a Snickers bar. Sure, they’re both sweet and satisfying, but the candy, packed with additives and produced industrially by a large corporation, has long-term health consequences — few of them good. Buying the locally grown apple, on the other hand, […]

A trashy tug of war

An uninspiring pile of construction-and-demolition debris sits waiting to be covered with dirt at the Buncombe County landfill. A closer look reveals chunks of brick, shingles, twisted sheets of metal, plywood, gypsum board and other materials — about 80 percent of which could be recycled, observes General Services Director Bob Hunter, surveying the rubble. That’s […]