From loyal reader Thaddeus:
Hey, guys! Maybe you can help me with this problem. I work downtown and 5 days a week I park in the dirt lot on Cherry, also known as the skate lot. For just over a week now, I have had to walk past a large pile of rotting garbage that someone dumped on the sidewalk. This is just past the bridge, maybe even technically on the Basilica property, although it’s also spilling into the road. Basically what I’m wondering is: How to get this cleaned up? Who do I contact? And why is it still there 7 days later?
I am bringing this up not because it’s particularly irksome, but because it is symbolic of the unkempt streets of Asheville. 2 years ago this exact same spot was covered in ice for almost 2 weeks and was a daily threat to my balance. A little further on my walk to work I have to dodge piles of dog feces, only to spy vomit-stained tiles a block later. Is there any system for cleaning sidewalks in Asheville? Does anyone know?
This summer, a friend who’d just traveled to another city with a cleaner downtown came home with a poor opinion of Asheville’s dog-pooped and dirty sidewalks in the heart of downtown.
Does Asheville have a problem?
What’s the answer? The controversial Business Improvement District (BID), approved by city council last month, was created in part to handle this exact concern with a special downtown tax.
If you’ve got images of trash on Asheville streets or sidewalks downtown, share here.
I find it is more the sidewalks, particularly up against the buildings where trash, bottles, and general debris collect. Agree, building operators should clean the sidewalk in front of their places – first impression is very important.
To answer your question of “How to get this cleaned up?” if it is bothering you, then you do the following. First, you get one pair of plastic gloves and one trash bag. Then, you take five minutes and put the trash in the bag. Then you drop this in the garbage bin in front of the Civic Center, and feel good because you helped improve the cleanliness of your city.
I have always touted just how clean Asheville is! There is always room for improvement, (and surely the Basilica should have picked that trash up), but I feel that the city does a great job of keeping our downtown streets and roadways clean. They do sweep the streets at night, and there is practically no trash to be seen on the streets. I feel like Asheville businesses do such a great job of recycling, that the actual trash to be picked up is fairly minimal compared to other cities.
The City used to wash the streets several times a week at night … I don’t know if they ever do that now.
A big part of the problem is the city itself. They only pick up trash once per week- even commercial trash downtown! Charleston picks up Residential once per week, downtown commercial 6x a week. Downtown Asheville would be a lot cleaner if the city offered the service. There’s not an even an option to pay more for this- one has to contract with private carriers for this and many do not, hence the mountain of bags on Tuesday nights. As a downtown property owner, the tax bill for my one building is more than $13,000 per year!
I think it should be the businesses responsibility. If there is trash in front of your business, you pick it up wether ot not you put it there or not. If it is not picked up you get a fine. If there is trash in you yard, pick it up or you get fined. Maybe not ideal, but the community as a whole has to take responsibility.
This is how they do it in many “cleaner” cities. With that being said, I don’t think the city does a very good job of keeping other public area’s clean. Maybe we should have “city” clean-up days.
The catholic church should have just picked it up instead of letting it sit there for so long.
Whether or not it should pick it up (though I agree it should) you’d think a business/the basilica would want to pick up the trash so that it isn’t detrimental to its image.
The newly formed business improvement district.
It doesn’t start for another year.
I have always found it odd that a town as “tourist-centric” as Asheville places their garbage on the sidewalk for pickup. Some businesses have the street lined with bags of trash for several hours before the collection truck comes by. Not really the most photogenic solution, but I suppose it’s practical…
This is not that unusual. Much of downtown Charleston, S.C. is all about tourists and the bars and restaurants crowd the sidewalks with trash bins nightly. I guess it’s just one of the problems of a dense downtown with not a lot of space for large, easily accessible spaces for Dumpsters.
Perhaps “unusual” was not the word. How about “unfortunate?” Doesn’t really leave people eager to walk the streets of our beautiful town when they are lined with garbage bags. I’m surprised the bears haven’t found this to be exciting.