Landfills tend to fall in the “out of sight, out of mind” category — unless you’re living next to one. But Buncombe County’s recent move to prepare additional landfill space for both construction and municipal debris is a reminder that such facilities have a finite life.
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.
To help reduce industry waste, Sierra Nevada has partnered with American Recycling of Western North Carolina to create the WNC Brewery Recycling Cooperative, a drop-off site in Candler.
As 2021 dawns, the glow of the holiday season fades and social distancing continues in cluttered homes, many will make resolutions to clean up their space. Here’s a look at the area’s more environmentally friendly ways to handle unwanted items.
Together, the city of Asheville and Buncombe County approved over $11 million in funding to install roughly 7 megawatts of solar power at public facilities and area schools. The projects are anticipated to save the governments and local schools roughly $650,000 in electricity costs in the first year and more than $27 million over the installations’ 30-year operational life.
“COVID-19 should be a stark reminder that we always live in uncertain times and we should conserve our resources that we may be better prepared to make it through the hard times that will surely come.”
Dane Pedersen, Buncombe County’s solid waste director, said many residents were confused over what would be included in the $19.21 monthly service fee. He explained that the cost covers the required rental of two containers from Waste Pro, one for trash and one for recycling, as well as weekly trash pickup and recycling collection every two weeks.
“Cutting back on this service only encourages people to put more recyclable material into their regular trash.”
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.
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.
“I really wish Council would adjust their priorities and think of us who pay extra fees for our vehicles ($30), dog licenses ($10), chicken registration ($25) and so much more — the 2018 Fees and Charges Manual is over 120 pages and is an interesting read.”
On Aug. 3, Jordan Gillis, acting assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment presented N.C. National Guard Field Management Station No. 1 with the Secretary of the Army Environmental Award, given annually to just nine individuals, teams or installations from Army operations across the country.
“I’m an old lady who has lived all over the U.S. and always had trash collection at my house, and never has the service been as bad as I’ve had in Asheville.”
“How did Waste Pro get a 10-year contract? Who, at the Buncombe County administration made that decision and why, in view of constant complaints?”
“Most amazing is Gatlinburg’s pioneering waste processing plant, which attracts observers from around the world and turns the idea of recycling on its head.”
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.
“I’ve had an opportunity to get to know Sheneika during this year’s campaign, and she is the real deal.”
“It seemed that the whole world was at war, and the tiny river kingdom of Asheville was neither exempt from the traumatic effects nor absent in playing an important integral part in its prosecution.”
‘I wish Asheville would make providing recycling for renters mandatory. … I’m sure many of the thousands of renters who do not now recycle would if it were convenient.”