During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the City of Asheville has maintained our essential services in police, fire, transit, water — and sanitation. We are proud to have been able to continue our trash and recycling collections during this difficult time in which everyone has to maintain social distancing to help prevent spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City of Asheville has followed guidance from Buncombe County Health and Human Services in determining how to best keep services to our residents going while keeping an eye on the health and safety of our employees.
And that is why we have had to modify some of our Sanitation services, specifically the suspension of brush collection.
Some residents have expressed their displeasure at this temporary measure.
While we hear you, we’d like to take this opportunity to explain why this measure is needed for the health and safety of our Sanitation staff at this time.
Brush collection requires a two- to three-person crew to be in close quarters in the cab of a truck throughout the day, definitely inserting a potential for virus transmission. We are working to protect those staff from potential exposure — not only to keep them healthy for their own sake — but so they are also available as backups to perform essential trash service when they are needed. Also a three-person crew in a cab is not permissible under Buncombe County’s Stay Safe, Stay Home order.
All City of Asheville employees deserve a safe environment on the job. We have taken this measure to help slow the spread of COVID-19 so as to preserve their health and safety.
The City of Asheville is working to ensure the highest safety for our Sanitation workers and to preserve the continuity of essential trash collection services during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Here’s a rundown of our service level at this time and ways you can help our Sanitation workers do their job more safely.
City of Asheville Sanitation services will be provided as follows:
- Trash and recycling will be collected as scheduled.
- Brush collection has been suspended until further notice.
What you can do to help:
- All trash must be bagged and bags must be tied. This applies to all trash in green City carts and trash cans. Bagging trash reduces the potential for exposure for trash collectors and minimizes loose litter.
- Don’t block sidewalks with refuse. Please ensure that any containers, bags, or piles of brush are not obstructing sidewalks or traffic.
- Wipe down cart lids and handles with disinfectant. While most carts are collected with an automated claw truck, there are smaller roads and routes where trash collectors must touch carts to manually empty them into trucks. Wiping down cart lids and handles reduces the potential for exposure.
All City Sanitation staff remain available to report as needed to respond to essential Sanitation staffing needs. Again, we ask for your patience during this time of unusual circumstances our community is experiencing.
For more information, visit ashevillenc.gov/AVLcollects or download the AVL Collects app and sign up for waste collection service alerts. Contact the Sanitation Office at 828-259-5857 if you have questions.