City of Asheville celebrates one year of free residential food scraps drop off sites

The City of Asheville is celebrating the results after one year of the free residential food scraps drop off pilot program. In 2022 so far, over 200,000 pounds (155 tons!) of organics has been diverted from the landfill. 

Thanks to the participation of nearly 4,000 residents, this pilot program is reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions and saving landfill space. This equals 137 metric tons of avoided Co2 emissions or the equivalent of 353 cars taken off the road. Good work Asheville! 


Where can I take my foos scraps?

There are currently four food scraps drop-off sites for residents to use free of charge:

Stephens-Lee Recreation Center

  • Where it all began. This pilot location was opened in September 2021 and was made possible by funding through the NRDC’s Food Matters grant.
  • Stephens-Lee has collected 228,000 pounds (that’s 150 tons!) of food waste over the past year. That’s definitely something to celebrate.


Buncombe County Landfill

  • The Landfill drop-off location opened not long after Stephens-Lee for our residents in the northern parts of the County. This location is unique because it is the only location where you can also recycle your cooking oil when dropping off your food scraps!
  • The Landfill location has collected 3420 pounds (that’s 1.21 tons!) of food waste over the past 11 months. While that may seem small compared to Stephens-Lee, every carrot peel, apple core, and chicken bone that’s diverted helps keep waste out of the landfill.


Murphy Oakley Recreation Center/Library

  • Also made possible by the Food Matters grant, this location opened in July 2022 and has already been very popular among neighborhood residents.
  • The Oakley location has collected 8,100 pounds (that’s 3.6 tons!) of food waste over the past two months.


West Asheville Library

  • The newest location, made possible by the DEQ’s Community Waste Reduction and Recycling grant, opened in September 2022.
  • Come check out a book from the library and drop off your food scraps at the same time!
  • The West Asheville Library Site has collected 2,750 pounds (that’s 1.3 tons!)

And coming soon, the newest site will be opening at Skyland/South Buncombe library in early December!


Are you interested in composting at home instead? 

The City and County both have resources on their websites to help get you started! And of course, while composting is a great way to divert waste from the landfill, reducing waste at the source is the ultimate goal. Make sure to read the signage on all of the food scraps sheds to guide you in your food waste reduction journey, and check out the resources available at Food Waste Solutions WNC for more ideas on how to reduce your organic waste!