One bin does it all

Zero Waste AVL is the City’s new waste reduction program. Here are some quick facts about the program and the materials that will be collected:

Quick Facts

Recent changes in city recycling practices make it easier for residents to recycle more.

  • Larger, 95 gallon roll-cart 
  • More materials now accepted, including additional plastics, gable top and aseptic containers
  • No sorting: all recyclables can go in a single container 

Citywide program implementation begins Spring 2012 and includes all city residents that currently have curbside recycling collection.

What is Recyclable?

New materials that are now recyclable: All No. 1 through No. 7 plastic bottles, jugs and containers (e.g., yogurt containers). Not accepted: No. 6 plastic PS or black plastic microwavable. Other materials include: gable-topped containers (e.g., juice and milk cartons) and aseptic containers (e.g., juice boxes and soy milk containers).

Curbside Management still collects the following materials:

  • Aluminum pie plates and trays
  • Aluminum, tin and steel cans 
  • Plastic bottles 
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Mixed glass containers
  • Mixed paper (including brown paper bags, catalogues, construction paper, junk mail, office paper, paper back books, Post-it notes, shredded paper, magazines, manila folders and envelopes, wrapping paper, newspaper and paper envelopes with plastic windows) 
  • Soda and beer cartons
  • Egg cartons
  • Toilet paper and paper towel rolls 
  • Box board (e.g., cereal boxes, pasta boxes and frozen vegetable containers)
  • Corrugated cardboard.

The following materials cannot be recycled:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Dog food bags
  • Paint cans
  • Plastic bags (most local grocery stores recycle these)
  • Antifreeze, motor oil or pesticide bottles 
  • Styrofoam
  • Plastic wrap
  • Dishes or cookware
  • Drinking glasses or mugs
  • Light bulbs
  • Window or mirror glass 
  • Plant trays or pots
  • Plastic furniture and toys
  • Hardcover books
  • Paper contaminated by food
  • Paper towels, tissue or napkins 
  • Photographs
  • Waxed paper 
  • Carbon copy paper
  • Black microwavable trays


City of Asheville Sanitation Services 
Wendy Simmons, solid waste manager 
Public Works Building, 161 S. Charlotte St. 
P. O. Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802 
259-5857, or

Asheville Sanitation Department’s website is the most up-to-date listing of the sanitation services offered by the city: or 259-5857.

Curbside Management provides additional recycling info: HERE 252-2532.

Construction Debris and Hazardous Material Disposal: Buncombe County Solid Waste 250-5462

Duncan McPherson, AIA, LEED AP is a co-founder of the WNC Green Building Council and principal at Samsel Architects. He can be reached at or 253-1124.