Working to be Plastic Free!
Retail, food service, and other local businesses are all contributors to the plastic pollution that ends up in our communities, on our streets, and in our waterways. MountainTrue’s Waste Reduction Team and the Hendersonville Environmental Sustainability Board are asking local businesses to sign a pledge to commit to take meaningful steps toward being a sustainable business and reducing plastic usage, protecting our community, wildlife, and watershed and becoming leaders in the local business community. Learn more and see participating businesses here: Working to be Plastic Free
Waste Reduction Team
This team promotes city, county, and waste reduction and regional recycling including curb-side pick-up with advocacy towards improvement in the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycling programs. The team coordinates the county’s recycling of Christmas Trees into mulch in early January. The team is also involved in canvassing local businesses, including restaurants, to sign a pledge “Working to be Plastic Free.” Participating businesses receive a window decal to notify customers of their commitment to the pledge.
Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 4:00 p.m. at The Buzz on the corner of Barnwell and Grove Street in Hendersonville, NC. Please join us!
County Recycling Program
Click Henderson County Recycling for a link to the county’s Solid Waste website, where you can find the recycling brochure and the guidelines on solid waste disposal. The county has 75 recycling bins available for loan at special events. Information about special recycling events including Household Hazardous Waste (HHW), paint and electronics collection days can be found online at hcrecycles.org. For more information, contact Henderson County Environmental Programs at (828) 694-6524.
Solid Waste and Recycling Progress
In 1989, ECO (now MountainTrue) and the League of Women Voters talked Henderson County into hiring its first recycling coordinator. In 1993, the Henderson County landfill was capped and closed. A transfer station was established to consolidate waste and ship it to Union County, SC. By 1994, county residents had three drop-off centers to take their recycling to. However, over the next few years, due to political push-back and poor recycling markets, two recycling centers were closed, and the recycling coordinator was deemed unnecessary. In 2005, conditions at the one remaining drop-off center were so deplorable that ECO organized an ad-hoc committee for recycling reform, which brought together representatives from seven different local organizations, to force political change. The ECO Environmental Education Committee worked with the school system to establish recycling infrastructure at every school.
In 2006, ECO helped the county run an electronics-recycling event that was so successful it almost shut down Highway 176 because of the traffic bringing in recyclables. It took several years of dedicated advocacy for another recycling coordinator to be hired. Instead of building and staffing additional drop-off centers, commissioners chose to make it mandatory for all private waste haulers to offer to pick up recycling from their customers. So curbside pick-up became available to everyone. Now, although there is only one drop-off center, it is centrally located, clean and well managed. Not only does the center take electronics for recycling every day, it will hold scheduled household hazardous waste collections.
Things really started to change in 2009. The city and county started coordinated recycling collection at the Apple Festival. In 2011, the county opened the new Convenience Center for collecting recyclable waste. In 2012, American Recycling Company opened a Material Recover Facility (MRF) in Candler. Henderson County now sends all of its collected recyclables to the MRF. Also, in 2012, Hendersonville installed permanent recycling bins next to trash collection containers on Main Street.
MountainTrue wants natural resources preserved. The state of North Carolina is requiring that more and more waste items be banned from landfill disposal; Plastic bottles, oil filters, pallets, aluminum cans, used oil, tires, batteries, antifreeze, appliances, and electronics. The county can be fined for not having a good recycling plan and/or programs in place.
The Henderson County Recycling Drop-off Center (opened in 2011) is located next to the Waste Transfer Station (and the closed landfill). The Transfer Station is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. and is located at 191 Transfer Station Drive, Hendersonville, NC 28791. The phone number for the station is 828-697-4505. As of 2013, the center now also collects all plastic containers 1-7, gable-top drink containers, and small electronics.
The following items can be recycled by residents of the County at the Henderson County Convenience Center during normal business hours Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Convenience Center is located at 265 Convenience Center Drive, Hendersonville, NC 28791.
- Plastic containers
- Glass containers
- Aluminum & steel cans
- Mixed paper
- Mercury products
- White goods
- Household & auto batteries
- Used oil, antifreeze, & oil filters
- Used cooking oil
- Small electronics (TVs and computer monitors must be recycled at the transfer station. All other peripheral electronics can be taken to the convenience center.)
For more information on Henderson County recycling, visit www.hendersoncountync.org/engineering/solidwaste/index.html or www.hcrecycles.org
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