Waste reduction is a major component of our work at Asheville GreenWorks. Since 1973, our staff and volunteers have worked to educate and reduce our dependance on one-use, so called “throw-away” items that simply fill up our landfills. Through recycling and compost education, we will reduce our need for landfills and through these innovations support infrastructure for future green industries. 

To find out how to recycle items that are neither accepted in our single stream recycling or at Hard 2 Recycle events, visit the City of Asheville’s Waste Wizard.

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The following clean, empty Recyclables are accepted in Asheville / Buncombe County (https://www.ashevillenc.gov/departments/sanitation/recycling.htm)

  • Aluminum pie tins and food trays
  • Plastics marked # 1-7 : bottles, tubs, jugs, and jars (see graphic below for more information)
  • Milk and Juice cartons
  • Juice boxes and soup cartons
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Metal food and beverage cans
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Corrugated cardboard and moving boxes
  • Mixed paper: magazines, newspaper, junk mail, paper egg cartons, envelopes, office paper, phone books, glossy paper, post-it notes, cereal and similar boxes, brown paper bags and empty paper towel/toilet paper tubesclean,

The misconception of the chasing arrows

Most municipalities with a single stream recycling program have taught us to put ALL of our plastics containing a chasing arrows symbol into the big blue bin. The problem is that most of the items, even those with numbers inside of chasing arrows are NOT recyclable in all areas of the country. These numbers are important to manufacturers and recyclers simply because they inform the chemical makeup of the plastic.

Focus on SHAPE and SIZE:
Jugs, bottles, jars, tubs, cans, cartons.


The following plastic bags and wraps can be recycled as a part of the Plastic Film Recycling Program.

Find a drop-off location near you!