Buncombe’s Plans for Solid Waste, Waste Characterization

Cassandra Lohmeyer, Buncombe County’s recycling coordinator, Commissioner Terri Wells, and Kristy Smith, the county’s solid waste manager, provide an overview of the benefits and direction toward sustainability that the recent waste characterization study conducted by SCS Engineers provides.


Waste characterization studies, or waste composition studies and audits, supply the strategic information required to design, monitor, and adjust solid waste programs effectively. The findings help to assess disposal practices and understand the content of the waste stream. Data gathered during waste sampling can present a complete picture of disposal, which is useful for building more sustainable solid waste and organics management programs.

  • Provides an analysis of the efficacy of current waste diversion programs,
  • Identifies new diversion opportunities,
  • Determines the mix of recyclables collected in designated recycling programs,
  • Identifies the potential for waste–to–energy and composting using selected waste streams.