November 15 is America Recycles Day – Here is how you can participate


The City of Asheville is proud to celebrate America Recycles Day November 15 which promotes the importance of recycling and recognizes the efforts of Ashevillians to recycle right. Taking the time to properly recycle improves our quality of life by supporting a clean, economically vibrant, and sustainable environment. 


Recycling binMore than 23,000 tons of trash are generated and landfilled by City of Asheville residents each year, and over 13 million tons are landfilled by North Carolinians statewide. In 2021, Asheville residents diverted more than 8,600 tons of recyclables from the landfill through the curbside recycling program.

Through daily actions, residents can reduce waste by composting, reusing products, donating unwanted items, and purchasing goods made with recycled products.

In partnership with Buncombe County, a composting food scraps drop-off program was launched in the fall of 2021. In four different locations, over 193,200 pounds of food scraps have been diverted from the landfill to date. That is about 132 tons of waste! Here are the stats from each location:

  • Stephens-Lee Recreation Center – launched in September 2021, has collected 117,000 pounds of food waste
  • Buncombe County Landfill – launched in September 2021, has collected 3420 pounds of food waste
  • Murphy Oakley Recreation Center/Library – launched in July 2022, has collected 7,900 pounds of food waste
  • West Asheville Library – launched in September 2022 (still collecting data from this newest site)

In addition to composting and diverting food waste, the City asks the community to refrain from “wishful recycling” – putting in items that we’d like to recycle or that seem “recyclable” but that are not accepted by our  recycling company.  Adding non-recyclable items to the blue bins damages equipment, poses worker safety issues, and increases the cost of recycling. Let’s all do our part to “Recycle Right” and use our blue bins wisely. 


Residents can follow the steps below to recycle more efficiently and prevent contamination of the recycling bin:

  • No plastic bags! 
  • Do not put cords, hoses, and other string-like items in the recycle bin as they can tangle around rotating recycling equipment.
  • Do not bag your recyclable items.
  • Use the Waste Wizard Tool on AVL Collects and check out the City of Asheville’s recycling webpage to see what you can recycle.

Learn about opportunities to drop off your food scraps for a compost program at this link.

The City of Asheville provides leaf and brush collection service for residents. Leaves should be bagged and brought to the curb, preferably in paper lawn bags or reusable containers  to save staff time and reduce single use plastics!

The City is expected to prohibit plastic bags for leaf collection sometime in 2023. No firm date has been set. Use for AVL Collects (there is an app available for smart phones, too!) or check the City website for updates.