Many of us live in Buncombe County because we cherish our natural surroundings and are motivated to preserve our mountains, streams, and forests. A major component of conservation is reducing our pollution footprint by recycling. But the recycling industry is nuanced and complex, and how do we make sure we’re doing it right so they can improve their operations? That’s where Cassandra Lohmeyer, Buncombe County’s new Recycling Coordinator steps in. Cassandra’s goal is to combine education with systems improvement to make sure that can or bottle has an opportunity to live on.
Properly prepping smaller amounts of recyclables can be more important than bulk recycling items that are ultimately rejected. With that in mind, Buncombe County is looking to increase recycling awareness and services with this new position. “The County has a lot of successful recycling programs, and the Recycling Coordinator will be able to promote those programs and investigate options for new programs that allow expansion of the recycling system,” notes Solid Waste Manager Kristy Smith.
Cassandra held a similar position in eastern Washington’s Spokane County. “Designing and implementing waste reduction efforts is incredibly fulfilling to me. I’m most excited about working for and with the community to coordinate waste reduction efforts and improve our environment,” says Cassandra.
Buncombe County Solid Waste offers a diverse range of recycling options, including the popular TV, electronics, and paint recycling service. Looking to build on the County’s multiple locations and services, Cassandra says awareness is essential for expansion initiatives. “I’d like to expand recycling education programs to equitably reach all demographics. An informed and invested community is truly the most effective tool for reducing waste,” she exclaims.
As for Buncombe County’s level recycling awareness and participation, Cassandra says with our region’s exponential growth, it’s vital to bring and keep the issue to the forefront. “It’s important for us to examine innovative waste reduction programs when thinking about future development of our area. And I feel that increasing our recycling rate, while reducing unwanted items in the recycling stream, is absolutely an achievable goal,” she says noting the County’s environmentally conscious nature will be an asset. Overall, the nuances of the recycling industry mean successful and well-informed partnerships with residents, haulers, businesses, and organizations will pave the way for stronger recycling participation in our community.
Buncombe County welcomes Cassandra to our award-winning Solid Waste team, and we look forward to helping her with education initiatives and new recycling resources. To learn more about recycling in Buncombe County, click here.