The City of Asheville and Buncombe County received an award from the Carolina Recycling Association for the Food Scraps Drop-Off Pilot Program. The 2024 Annual Awards seek to recognize projects that are innovative, cutting-edge, and impactful to waste reduction in the Carolinas.

The Food Scraps Drop-Off Pilot Program is a collaborative initiative between the City of Asheville Sanitation Division, the City of Asheville Sustainability Department, and Buncombe County Solid Waste Services. The program is free to any resident of Buncombe County, which includes the City of Asheville.

In September 2021, the City of Asheville initiated the Food Scraps Drop-Off Pilot Program by opening the first drop-off location. The program was made possible by funding from the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Food Matters Southeast Cohort participation. The City partnered with Buncombe County to expand drop-off location access around the County. The second location opened at the Buncombe County Landfill in the following month. In the first six months, 41,780 lbs were collected at the two locations.

As of January 2024, over 671,000 lbs of food scraps and other organics have been collected from roughly 3,700 participating households. With a County-secured grant from NCDEQ, the program has grown to eight locations. All locations are open daily and unstaffed.

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