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Recycling

Your guide on what and where to recycle in Buncombe County.

How to Prepare Recyclables

EMPTY all bottles, cans, and containers (lids and labels may remain on)

BREAK DOWN and FLATTEN corrugated cardboard

SECURE the lid on the recycling container to prevent paper from blowing out

SET your recyclables out to the curb by 7:00 A.M. on your recycling day (if you have curbside pickup)

What is NOT Recyclable?

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Dishes or Cookware
  • Styrofoam
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Paper towels or tissues
  • Window or Mirror Glass
  • Black microwavable trays
  • Light Bulbs
  • Plastic Bags
    • Please return clean, dry, empty plastic bags to stores that provide designated plastic bag recycling drop-off bins—such as Ingles, Harris Teeter, Food Lion, and Lowes

Residential Co-mingled Recyclables

Recyclables such as magazines, paper, plastic, metal and aluminum cans, and glass.

NOTE: Please take recyclables out of blue bags before depositing them at the landfill and transfer station.

Residential Recycling Instructions

Place all recyclables loosely at a recycling drop-off area:

  • Metal Cans - Aluminum, Steel, Tin, EMPTY Aerosol cans
  • Plastic - Bottles, Jugs, and Containers with recycling numbers #1 - #7 such as plastic yogurt containers, margarine tubs
    • Take Out Containers are not able to be recycled residentially at this time.
  • Glass - Bottles and Jars (clear, brown, green)
  • Aluminum - Pie Tins, Food Trays
  • Paper Cartons - Milk & Juice Cartons and Juice Boxes
  • Newspapers and inserts
  • Mixed Paper - Catalogs, Junk mail, Magazines, Cereal boxes, paper Egg Cartons, Envelopes, Manila envelopes, Office paper, Paper, Phone books, Glossy paper, Post-It-Notes, Brown paper bags, Paper towel rolls
    • Shredded Paper is not accepted in residential recycling at this time

Flatten and leave at curb:

  • Corrugated Cardboard

Residential Drop Off Locations

Recycling carts should be placed at the curb next to your trash container for pick-up if you subscribe to Waste Pro garbage service, or you can take your recycling to any of the following RECYCLING convenience centers:

TV & Paint Recycling

Electronics — — Household Hazardous Waste — Light Bulbs

Buncombe County Landfill accepts Televisions and Electronics ONLY during TV/Paint Recycling events.

Electronics/TV/Paint Recycling and Fees

We accept most electronics—aside from televisions—from residents at no charge. Businesses can recycle electronics at the cost of $0.30 cents per pound. No hazardous wastes from businesses will be accepted.

The following items must be separated out of loads and brought to the electronics recycling area:

  • Cell Phones; Computers and computer-related electronics like CPUs, and keyboards - $0.00
  • Televisions and Computer Monitors
    • $10.00 per tv and monitor regardless of size.
  • Pesticides including herbicides, insecticides, fungicides - $0.00
  • Automotive Fluids such as motor oil, antifreeze, coolant; and Lead acid batteries - $0.00
  • Flammable liquids like gasoline and kerosene; and Paint and paint-related items such as water sealer, paint thinners, enamels, polyurethane, etc.
    • $2 per gallon @ 20-gallon limit per week.

NOTE: Bio-Hazardous materials, radioactive materials and explosives are NOT accepted at any time.

TV/Paint Recycling Schedule


Light Bulbs

Mercury-containing fluorescent lights can be recycled at the landfill during the TV/Paint/Household Hazardous Waste program with a maximum of 20 bulbs per month. Lowes and Home Depot also accept the small screw in type bulbs for recycling, but do not accept broken or long tube type bulbs. Fluorescent lights can also be disposed of with your regular garbage. Broken bulbs cannot be recycled and should be placed with your regular garbage.

Light Bulb Disposal Guidelines

Table: Light Bulb Disposal Guidelines
Waste Type Maximum Amount Price
4 ft Fluorescent Light Bulbs Up to 5 free/week $0.75 each
8 ft Fluorescent Light Bulbs Up to 5 free/week $0.90 each
All other Up to 5 free/week $5 each

If you have any questions, please contact the Solid Waste Office at 250-5460 or the Landfill at 250-5462.

Composting

Food Scrap Drop-Off Pilot Program

Buncombe County is proud to be partnering with the City of Asheville to open two food scrap drop-off locations to Buncombe County residents. This is part of a pilot program designed to assess interest and engagement for food waste diversion and composting in Buncombe County.
Register Today

Locations:

Buncombe County Landfill - Convenience Center
85 Panther Branch Road, Alexander
Hours: M-F 8:00am-4:30pm, Sat 8:00am-12:30pm
(compost drop-off opens to all Buncombe County residents 10/4)
Stephens-Lee Recreation Center - “Food Scrap Shed”
30 Washington Carver Avenue, Asheville
-next to the Community Garden on the north side of the parking lot
Hours: M-F 7-6, Sat 8-2, Sun 12-4
(compost drop-off open to County and City employees 9/7, all Buncombe County residents 10/4)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please refer to our Composting Guide.
The compost drop-off site only accepts “plant trimmings” which refer to flower bouquets or kitchen herbs. Household plant trimmings must be under 2ft in length to be accepted as compost. All trimmings that exceed 2ft will be classified as yard waste. Weeds, woody debris, and grass clippings are not accepted items in this program. If you’re dropping your scraps at the Buncombe County Landfill, there is a separate disposal area for yard waste to grind the debris into mulch, which residents can then purchase.
Items such as paper towel/toilet paper rolls, newspaper, and clean cardboard are technically compostable as well as recyclable. However, unless they are soiled (ex. greasy pizza boxes), we ask that you put these items in the recycling to save space in our compost collection bins. Office paper should always be recycled, but shredded paper should always be composted (it is not able to be recycled).
Materials can be collected loose and free, but if you’d prefer to collect and dispose of your scraps in a bag, please use only paper bags or certified BPI compostable “bio bags”. They should be ASTM 6400 certified for compostable plastics.
The food scrap drop-off sites are for residential household compostable waste only. Businesses or restaurants who wish to compost can contact a local commercial composter.
The drop-off sites are limited to residential/household scraps only. There is no limit to the amount of scraps you can bring, but we encourage you to reduce your food waste with these tips.
Since this is a free program, we are unable to offer free finished compost to participants at this time. We do encourage you to close the loop by purchasing locally produced compost for your garden needs!
To receive a free compost pail, you will need to register as a drop-off participant and pick up your pail at the Stephens-Lee location. Click the registration link above to get started.
Because Buncombe County has contracted with a commercial composter, we are able to accept a wider array of materials, including meat scraps, bones, and materials such as paper towels, compostable plates and compostable silverware. Commercial composting facilities are able to generate more heat in their composting process than household backyard compost piles, thus having the capability to break down these tougher materials. To learn more about backyard composting, visit Asheville Green Works.