Are you “recycling right?” We’ve all had that moment when we’ve gotten confused on what the City of Asheville accepts and does not accept in the big blue recycling bins.
Getting it right is important and here’s why: As a city, our contamination rate is on the rise. Where we were previously at a 5% contamination rate several years ago, we inched up to 6% last year, and are around an 8% contamination rate now.
To help us as a community reduce the recycling contamination rate, the City of Asheville is working with neighborhoods to increase awareness. In partnership with Asheville GreenWorks, there was an audit of residential recycle bins in June to help identify key issues. The Flip Your Lid campaign is designed to help increase awareness of what should not go in our recycle bins.
Did you know, for example, that the biggest recycling contamination culprit is plastic bags? Plastic film and bags (like retail grocery bags) are not recyclable in the City’s curbside collection program. They are accepted at local grocery stores. Plastic bags get tangled in processing machinery, which leads to downtime and increased maintenance for the processor who has to manually cut the bags out of the machinery every day. Contaminants like plastic bags can also get into loads of recycling that our vendor needs to sell, which can cause a load to be rejected or to earn a lower price. So just say no to plastic bags in your recycle bin!
Want to brush up on your recycling skills? Visit the City of Asheville’s recycling webpage at ashevillenc.gov/departments/sanitation/recycling.htm.
Prepared by the City of Asheville.