IMPORTANT CHANGE: Beginning August 1, 2023, plastic bags for brush and leaf collection are prohibited [Asheville Code of Ordinances, Chapter 15 §38(h)].

Q: What happens if I use a plastic leaf bag after August 1, 2023?

A: Sanitation workers will tag and leave the yard waste in unapproved plastic bags at the curb after August 1, 2023. Residents will have to empty contents into an approved container which will then be collected on their next brush collection week. Learn more about single-use plastics at ashevillenc.gov/plastic.

Q: Won’t 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 completely scoop them up. This is still cleaner and more effective than shaking leaves out of plastic bags.

Q: Where can I find biodegradable paper yard waste bags or reusable containers?

A: Biodegradable paper yard waste bags and approved reusable containers are available at home hardware stores, home improvement stores, and through online retailers. A limited supply of free paper yard waste bags is available to residents. Bags will be available at the following locations during open business hours while supplies last: 

** Note: Stations are staffed 24/7 but please understand that our firefighters could be away from the building, on  a call, or doing other work. We recommend going by the station during regular business hours. **


Yard Waste Collection Information

  • Yard waste is collected on a bi-weekly schedule. Find your schedule here and sign up for the free app AVLcollects in the app store.
  • Yard waste should be placed at the curb by 7 a.m. on the Monday of your collection week. It will be collected at some point during the week.
  • The City DOES NOT COLLECT the following:
    • Large volume brush piles and land clearing debris
    • Brush and trimmings cut by contractors. Contractors must haul away.
    • Grass clippings or garden fruit/vegetable/flower waste. Grass clippings should be left on the lawn, or composted with other waste material on-site.
    • Material with rocks, trash, dirt, and other debris. No rootballs unless dirt is completely removed.
    • Material in plastic bags.

How to Prepare Brush & Leaves for Collection

  • LEAVES & SMALL YARD WASTE:
    • Place leaves, pine needles, pinecones, and other small yard waste in approved yard waste containers. As of August 1, 2023, plastic bags for brush and leaf collection are prohibited [Asheville Code of Ordinances, Chapter 15 §38(h)].
    • Approved containers include:
      • Biodegradable paper yard waste bags, weighing no more than 25 lbs
      • Rigid plastic container or woven polypropylene yard waste bag that is 10-32 gallons, weighing 50 lbs or less, does not collect rainwater, and is clearly labeled ‘brush/yard/leaf waste’
      • Leaf Burrito City-Style or Tote form
    • Non-approved containers include:
      • Plastic bags
      • Open containers where leaves can blow away or that collect rainwater
      • Unlabeled or unapproved containers will not be collected.

Use these yard waste containers: biodegradable paper yard waste bags, trash can labeled 'Brush/Leaves/Yard Waste", Leaf Burrito City-style or Tote form, or woven polypropylene yard waste bags. Do not use these containers for yard waste collection: plastic bags or any unlabeled and unapproved containers such as a wheelbarrow or milk crate.

  • LARGER BRUSH:
    • Shrubs, limbs, and larger brush should be neatly stacked loose at the curb.
    • Brush and limbs, including bamboo, need to be cut into no greater than 4 foot lengths and 6 inch diameter.
    • Do not place yard waste in the road travelway or block the sidewalk.
    • Keep yard waste away from other objects such as fences, walls, water meters, utility poles, mailboxes, fire hydrants, and cars.
    • Avoid placing brush under utility lines and tree limbs.
    • Thorny trimmings must be in a separate pile.

Burning of Loose Leaves

The burning of leaves is not permitted in the City and violators risk a fine from the Asheville Fire Marshal’s office. Fines can range between $250 to $500 or more, and violators may even be arrested.

For more information on this, contact the Asheville Fire Marshal’s office at 828-259-5641. If violators are caught burning leaves, the Sanitation Division can issue a $50 fine in addition to any fines from the Fire Marshal’s office.


Other Options for Disposing of Leaves

One of the easiest and quickest ways to dispose of loose leaves is to compost them. By running a mulching mower over the leaves, the leaves will compost directly into the lawn. Another way to compost leaves is by raking them into a compost pile. When spring arrives the leaves will have decomposed and will be a great soil additive for gardening. Get more info on leaf composting here, or general composting options.

The Buncombe County Landfill will also accept leaves for a fee. Call 828-250-5462 for more information.


Christmas Tree Recycling

Asheville residents can place Christmas trees at the curb for regular brush collection. Please remember to remove lights, ornaments, and stands from your tree.

Christmas trees can be dropped off (for a potential fee) for recycling at the following locations:


Contact Information

Sanitation Department(828) 259-5857 or sanitation@ashevillenc.gov 


 

 

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