Just sent to  the Transylvania County Commissioners. If you like this idea, please send them a letter of support. Even better, send them YOUR ideas of how to use trash as an economic asset!

“In September, Kenn Webb, our Waste Management Director,  gave an excellent presentation on our landfill options in Transylvania County. In case there is no public hearing, I am sharing this with now.

October 2020 – T County Commissioners – ECONOMIC USES OF TRASH

The question is asked … shall Transylvania county handle our trash here at home, or send it ‘away’. Best response? Manage trash here, as the basic economic resource it is. You say maybe not? Look at the wretched example of the US when China declined to take more of our garbage … we had no plan, no structure, no goals to deal with neither result nor cause. We, here and now, have a chance to make a significant step forward in economics, environmental support and creativity!.

IDEAS: POLICIES & PRACTICES: T CTY can limit accumulation of trash by business and individuals thru education & access re recycling, repurposing, upcycling and changing behavior:
– straws: bring your own or ask if you want one
– one-use plastic bags – if Kenya can abolish them, why not us? Make them of cloth (biodegradable) not plastic, as most currently are
– separate paper: ‘Recycle’ and ‘Other’ (food impacted, etc)
at festivals – in case we ever do them again – have clear recycling bins, as at John Felty’s Mountain Song.
– Provide compost collectors outside the gates of all transfer stations and the community centers for all-hour access to separate compostable items from other trash (40 – 70% of all trash in landfills in N. America is actually compostable)
– With Brevard and Rosman, provide separated, compostable trash pick-up in each town. Require separated pick-up from private trash companies in the county.


We can treat trash as the economic treasure it is: here’s a way to get there.

Hold a county-wide IDEA FEST! Idea generator groups choose a ‘waste’ item, tin, glass, 1 use plastic bags or … THEY BRAINSTORM IDEAS, BEGIN EXPERIMENTS, COLLABORATE WITH OTHERS. Example:
PAPER: An economic asset!
Build new businesses from this great resource, currently lost to us.
Product ideas – Possible Processes – Local Resources –

My entry: Recycle paper for multi-use egg cartoons, berry/tomato baskets and … ?

Goals: reuse paper instead of putting in landfill. Reduce plastic in the landfill with replacement products. Create a factory-based business to provide products for us, neighboring counties and the nation!

How to do this: A paper maché slurry would be a great beginning. Our crafts people have the knowledge; smart kids in Time 4 Real Science and the Sci Girls will develop processes, scouts and Girls/Boys Club and environmental students at Brevard College will develop prototypes! Local wood workers will make experimental molds. There are engineers to provide tech support – think how thrilled those from Ecusta-time will be! Our experiments may improve on the current commercial processes.

Within a year, local farmers will be using/reusing these, by the second year, one or more small factories will be in development throughout the county. By 3rd year, business up and running, based on paper resources in-county, not importing more paper.

The county economic planner will facilitate development of related businesses throughout the county, homegrown or invited in.

If this sounds too simplistic, please think again. MANY businesses grow out of experimentation, with the help of creative management. I still find it amazing that Ecusta was based on tiny cigarette papers ….

I look forward to your positive and creative responses. Hoping there is a public hearing soon!”

Susan Sunflower
[email protected]