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Recycling Guidelines

How Do I Recycle My Plastic Bags?

To learn how to recycle your plastic grocery bags, visit

Recycling & Buncombe County

"It’s not my job" is not a phrase that can be used when it comes to proper management of garbage. It is everyone’s job to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We produce over 5 pounds per person per day in Buncombe County. We cannot escape the fact that this must be handled some way; either by reusing, reducing what we use, recycling, or landfilling.

If we continue to grow in Buncombe County and fail to divert more each year--someone will have to come up with a way to dispose of it when the new landfill is full. Regardless of disposal method, items that can be used will end up buried and wasted.

It is amazing how much you can divert from being buried in Buncombe County if you make it your job to keep it from being buried. Buncombe County was the first county in North Carolina to enact a cardboard ban. The ban was adopted in 1989.

In 1995, Buncombe County mandated that the franchised residential haulers in Buncombe County provide recycling by the "Blue Bag" system. This enables all residential customers of franchised haulers, in the unincorporated areas of the County, to have curbside pickup of co-mingled recyclables as well as magazines, newsprint, and corrugated cardboard.

The Towns of Montreat, Black Mountain and Woodfin also offer the "Blue Bag" service as part of their garbage service. Asheville started the bin collection curbside sort system in January 1997. Biltmore Forest and Weaverville provide drop off sites for recyclables. With the drop off sites at the transfer station and landfill, all residents have recycling available to them.

Recycling available at local retailers

When the State of North Carolina disposal ban on electronics takes effect during the summer of 2011, many local retailers will be required to offer recycling opportunities throughout the community.  For updated recycling options, visit

Home improvement retailer Lowe’s Companies Inc. has installed recycling centers in nearly 1,700 U.S. stores to provide a one-stop recycling destination for customers.

In addition to recycling shipping materials such as pallets, wraps and cardboard, Lowe’s stores are now offering to recycle hard-to-handle products like mobile phones, batteries and CFL bulbs.

Dell and Goodwill Industries have teamed up to provide the Reconnect Program. Goodwill locations will accept any brand of computer equipment in any
condition from consumers and recycle it for free. For Goodwill drop-off locations, visit

Harris Teeter has partnered with Engaged Recycling to accept a wide variety of electronics. Participants use the Engaged Recycling website to determine whether electronic items they wish to donate will be accepted. If items are eligible, participants are provided a postage-paid shipping label to print and can ship the electronics free of charge.

Staples stores offer a really simple program—just bring computers into one of their stores. There is a $10 charge for computers and printers. Small items are free. For details, visit

At Office Depot, you can buy an electronics recycling box (small boxes are $5, medium are $10, and large are $15). You fill the box with your electronics and return it to the store.  Learn more at

Best Buy accepts a wide range of electronic goods.  You simply bring items to the store.  For a computer monitor or TV, you will pay a $10 recycling fee, but you will also receive a $10 gift card to use in the store. For more information, go to