Fall has officially come to the mountains and after a glorious season of color, the leaves will soon start to fall. To Asheville residents using paper bags or reusable plastic containers for their fall leaves these past few years, we say thank you and keep up the good work!
We’d encourage everyone else to follow this example.
Paper bags cost about the same as plastic ones. They’re compostable and more eco-friendly. Below is a guide on how to use them effectively, with as little hassle as possible to you, our residents.
Thank you for using environmentally friendly containers!
Question: Why use paper bags for leaf collection?
Answer: The City of Asheville began encouraging the use of brown paper bags for leaf collection after a local vendor confirmed for the City that they are compostable, and therefore using them is a more environmentally sustainable practice.
Collecting leaves in paper bags is also a big time saver for Sanitation staff. This helps the Sanitation Department save money and provide more efficient service for our taxpayers.
An estimated 7,500 tons of brush and leaves are collected annually within the city limits. The use of biodegradable materials is a better waste management practice.
Numerous cities across the U.S. require paper bags for collection. So far, the City of Asheville is encouraging (not requiring) their use.
Q: Where do I find them?
A: Paper leaf collection bags are available at local home and hardware stores as well as many grocery stores. You can also buy them online. Please be sure to buy bags without plastic liners.
Q: Aren’t paper bags more expensive?
A: They are comparable in price to other options. Currently, paper lawn and leaf bags are around 50-cents each.
Q: Won’t the paper bags disintegrate if it rains?
A: Though these bags are heavy duty, rain can affect them. If that happens, Sanitation workers will still collect your leaves, using a shovel to scoop them up.
Q: What can go in paper bags?
A: Leaves and small twigs only should go in the paper bags. Garden and yard waste such as vines and tree or shrub limbs should go to the curb for brush collection. No grass clippings please.
Q: If I don’t want to use bags, can I use a container instead?
A: Yes! Please do label your container “leaves” so that our Sanitation workers clearly understand they have leaves in them.
Q: How else can I dispose of my leaves?
A: Compost them at home! Composting eliminates the chore of bagging leaves. Along with leaves you can compost much of your kitchen waste.
Compost improves your soil and helps retain water. Use it in flower and vegetable gardens, around trees and shrubs, and on houseplants and lawns.
So feed your landscape, not the landfill. For composting tips, visit this link.
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