For many Asheville residents, seeing a bear at their trash can is a bucket-list item, the pinnacle of mountain living. But as exciting as a bear sighting can be, interactions with the furry, four-legged natives can quickly spell problems for bears and humans alike.
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.
Eric Bradford, director of operations at local environmental nonprofit Asheville GreenWorks, calls China’s restriction of its recyclables market a wake-up call for domestic recyclers. “We were basically paying China to be our landfill for these ‘recyclables,’ and we felt good about it,” he says.