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New to Food Waste
Reduction In Asheville?

Are you new to Asheville or new to the issue of food waste and looking to get involved? An estimated 57,500 tons of food waste is generated in Buncombe County each year, which accounts for approximately a quarter of commercial and residential landfill waste. Check out the info below to dig in to this important work.

Know your waste

What’s a food waste audit? You guessed it? Going through the trash to find out what is being thrown out.  Check out this blog post about our recently conducted food waste audits at city facilities. Conduct your own home or office food waste audit with the worksheet below.

Food Storage Tips

Reduce your food waste starting at the grocery store


  • Backyard Composting is easy & fun!   – Not everybody has the space, but if you do, check out these resources from Asheville Greenworks and this informational mailer from the City of Asheville to get your bin started at home.
  • Food Scrap pick up services – collect organic waste right at your door include CompostNow,Compost Asheville and WormaCulture, which offer services with different pickup schedules and prices. Both CompostNow and Danny’s Dumpster serve businesses and restaurants.

Food Waste Drop Off

Did you know that Asheville has a Food Scrap Drop-Off Program?  Since it began in October 2021, the City of Asheville, in partnership with Buncombe County and the Natural Resources Defense Council, has kept over 750,000 lbs of food waste out of our landfill. Through this program, organic matter is collected and turned into good clean compost while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The drop-off program is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to compost at home but may not have the time, outdoor space, or extra cash (for programs like Compost Now).

There are now 8 drop-off sites across the county:

  • Stephens-Lee Recreation Center – 30 George Washington Carver Ave, Asheville
  • Murphy Oakley Community Center & Library  – 749 Fairview Road, Asheville
  • Skyland/South Buncombe Library – 260 Overlook Rd, Asheville 28803
  • West Asheville Library   – 942 Haywood Rd, Asheville NC
  • Buncombe County Landfill Convenience Center – 85 Panther Branch Road, Alexander
  • Buncombe County Transfer Station  – 190 Hominy Creek Rd, Asheville, NC
  • East Asheville Library – 3 Avon Road, Asheville
  • Leicester Library – 1561 Alexander Road, Leicester  

Residents are encouraged to use the sites closest to them. If you want to drop off your food scraps, read more for details (about what can be composted) and register.

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Three things to do at home

  • Shop with a List: Making a list of what items you need, and the amounts you need, is a way to drastically reduce how much food goes to waste. 
  • Repurpose Food: Take your stale bread and turn it into croutons, use tops, stalks, and peels of veggies to make a broth, and use overripe fruit in smoothies. 
  • Store Food Correctly: learn what goes in the fridge and what doesn’t, don’t store the milk in the door as this is the warmest part of the fridge, and organize your fridge so the food is visible.

Three things to do at work

  • Organize a Lunch and Learn: Invite your co-workers to a learning lunch, bring resources, your own story, and share ideas for them to go do some additional research and get involved
  • Share the Wealth: Designate a shelf in the community fridge – you may not want to eat that extra slice of pizza but one of your coworkers might. [source]
  • Donate Extra Food From Events to Food Banks: And don’t forget the receipts! Food donations to nonprofit organizations, farmers, or shelters are tax deductible. [source]
Donation box with food.

Recycling matters!

It’s not food waste…but it’s all connected! Check out this article on what you can and cannot recycle as well as alternatives location to drop off items

Chart from Asheville Greenworks’ article on plastic reduction.

keep your food fresh!

ReFed food waste monitor

ReFed has a great resource where you can monitor food waste by region and type. In North Carolina alone, we wasted over one million tons of food in 2019. The majority of the waste was due to food that spoiled or food that we didn’t want to eat.

food waste is resource waste

Food waste is about more than just food waste. We’re wasting precious resources too. Wasted food as an annual estimated cost of $218 Billion. And that was in 2012.

Learn how you can get involved in reducing the amount of food waste in Western North Carolina through one of our five Working Groups.

How to get involved

  • Volunteer: donate your time to supporting local organizations in Asheville working with Food Waste Solutions WNC or partner organizations working to reduce food waste head to this link 
  • Give Money: make donations to support local organizations and allow them to continue to do amazing work. 
  • Educate Those Around You: direct people to this website, do a community waste audit, challenge your friends to implement food waste reduction tips and tricks, and get involved.



By Margaret Li and Irene Li

By Anne-Marie Bonneau

By James Beard Foundation

By Carleigh Bodrug

By Amanda Little

By Jonathan Bloom

By Michaek Pollan

Edited by Carleen Madigan

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