All signs indicate that the area’s growth isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. Making good on waste-reduction goals has become significantly harder with more people entering the equation, but local waste management teams say that just means it’s time to double down on their efforts.
Using the slogan “When in doubt, throw it out,” the statewide Recycle Right NC initiative aims to reduce contamination and improve the economic value of recyclables. Additionally, according to the National Weather Service’s Greenville-Spartanburg office, Western North Carolina is likely in for warmer-than-usual conditions over the foreseeable future.
Buncombe County has used about a third of the total 12.5 million cubic yards of space available to receive municipal solid waste, which the department tracks separately from waste produced by construction projects. At its construction and demolition landfill, which sits on the same property but is sorted separately, the county still has about 1.3 million cubic yards of fillable space out of a maximum capacity of about 2.4 million.
Asheville recycled 590 pounds of trash per household per year in fiscal year 2016-17, the highest rate among North Carolina cities. But when you throw your commingled recyclables in the blue bins, where do they go? How does single-stream recycling work? Does it work? Xpress takes an inside look.
Partners of Regional Recycling Solutions are, legally, stuck between a rock and a hard place. By county standards, their application must first be approved by NCDENR. But RRS cannot gain approval from DENR without first receiving approval from the county — trapping the company in a paradoxical loop of permitting problems.