What we do

The City of Asheville has a strong record and long-standing commitment to sustainability. The Sustainability Department was created in 2008 to integrate sustainable design, technology, and practice into municipal operations, infrastructure, and services. The Sustainability Department is responsible for incorporating City Council’s Strategic Goals and City Resolutions pertaining to sustainability within the organization.


Doing the Work

Listed below are the plans, assessments, and policies that guide the work of the Sustainability Department.

Guiding Documents



Asheville Community Carbon Footprint

In 2021 the Sustainability Department worked with a student from the Lenoir Rhyne Masters of Sustainability Studies program to measure the carbon footprint of the city at large. The carbon emissions from 2019 for the city of Asheville are summed up in this infographic.

Text only version


Community Partners

The Sustainability Department partners with the following local nonprofits to implement community programs:



Related Services

Information about disposing of large or unusual items such as furniture, household hazardous waste, or appliances. As well as instructions for brush, leaves, or Christmas trees.

Information on what can be recycled, how to prepare items for collection, and composting.

Related Projects

Elevate AVL

Elevate AVL engagement agents and advisory committee members are working with community members to co-create resources and strategies to build neighborhood resilience. The project seeks to learn from Asheville communities to inform neighborhood-led and city-supported initiatives to develop shared resources and ideas to thrive in a changing climate. 

Less Plastic Asheville

This City of Asheville is launching the Less Plastic Asheville Challenge to encourage residents to reduce their consumption of single-use plastics. The campaign has two key features, a social media challenge called Less Plastic Bingo and a Pass on Plastic Pledge.

Single-Use Plastic Reduction

Asheville City Council has directed the Sustainability Department to take a phased approach to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic.

Sustainability News

white styrofoam cup and green plastic bag with word plastic reduction initiative

Single-use plastic reduction initiative comes to a close

It is the City of Asheville’s mission to support a thriving local economy and a clean, healthy environment. Community cleanliness was identified by City Council as an area of concern and in October 2022, Asheville City Council directed the Sustainability Department to take a phased approach to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic.  The first phase [...]

Less Plastic Asheville: That’s a wrap!

This past spring, the City of Asheville conducted a voluntary initiative called “Less Plastic Asheville Challenge” inviting Asheville residents to reduce their single-use plastic consumption. The City supported community member efforts by providing information, resources, and a little friendly competition. The campaign ran from February 19 – May 31 and consisted of two key components: [...]