Sustainable Waste Options
Waste in Boone
Just like how birds will always fly, or fish will always swim, humans will always do one thing- produce garbage. The amount of garbage we produce is astronomical, and can lead to pollution of our waterways and oceans. One big example is the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch", an area in the Pacific Ocean which has collected tons of garbage which humans unfortunately created. This patch, which has earned the title of 'island' due to its sheer size, is between 700,000 square kilometers and 10,000,000 square kilometers in size.
To put that in perspective, the United States is about 9,826,675 square kilometers in size. This garbage island is about the size of the United States, and in some estimates is bigger. To make matters worse, the main component of this island is recyclable plastic. So, what do we do? How do we reduce the amount of waste we produce in order to help curb and hopefully stop the creation of these trash islands?
The Town of Boone's Recycling Program
The easiest way to help stop the cycle of trash is by recycling. The Town of Boone has an amazing recycling program in place. If you own a property in the Town of Boone's town limits, you can receive a free recycling bin through the Town of Boone's Public Works Center. For more information regarding how to obtain a recycling bin, what's recyclable in Boone or anything in between, visit the Sanitation and Recycling webpage, or Contact Shannon Isaacs, Adoption Program and Sanitation/Recycling Coordinator. Another great way to reduce the amount of waste you produce is by composting.
The Town of Boone's Composting Program
One of the easiest ways to reduce the amount of garbage going to the landfill is to compost! Composting fruit and vegetable scraps, egg shells and even grass clippings is a simple adjustment to your everyday life, and Boone wants to help. If you own a single family home or a duplex in the Town of Boone's town limits, compost bins are available at no charge for backyard composting. You may pick up a compost bin at the Town of Boone's Public Works Center. For more information, visit the Composting Program webpage, or Contact Shannon Isaacs, Adoption Program and Sanitation/Recycling Coordinator.
What the Town Has Done:
Not only has the Town implemented two amazing programs regarding waste reduction and removal, we have also worked on projects which will help the health and safety of our local water ways. In June 2021, the Town of Boone installed the first 'Trash Trout', a device created by Asheville Greenworks, a semi-local nonprofit whose goal is to create and implement environmental conservation projects and education programs. Updates regarding the Trash Trout and the clean out process can be found on the Town of Boone's Social Media or on the Watauga Riverkeeper's (also known as the 'key protector and watchdog of the Watauga River Basin') Instagram, @wataugariverkeeper.
Going to the Watauga County Farmers Market? Keep an eye out for a table hosted by the Town of Boone! Sporadically, Town Employees will pass out reusable bags and other fun goodies to help promote all sustainable programs Boone provides, including our recycling program, and composting program. Plus, who doesn't need another bag when shopping at the amazing farmers market?!
Trash Trout Jr.
In 2021, the Town of Boone partnered with Asheville Greenworks and MountainTrue to install Boone’s first ever Trash Trout! This amazingly simple invention is built for one thing- to catch trash in our creeks and streams. Located in Winkler Creek, right off the walking bridge close to the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences, the Trash Trout has caught countless amounts of single use plastics, stryofoam cups and takeaway containers, and an assortment of other items that would have ended in our waterways. In conjunction with Appalachian State University's programs, Matt Groce, a student at Appalachian State, produced a video entited "Pervasive Problems, Imperative Partnerships' which highlights both the partnership between the Town of Boone, MountainTrue and Asheville Greenworks, as well as giving the Trash Trout the spotlight it deserves. More information about the Trash Trout and the important research being done on how to keep plastics out of our creeks can be found on MountainTrue's website.