Neighborhood Mulch Preserves are part of our effort to decentralize the management of yard trim, in this case, brush. This program helps us reduce the costs of transporting this material and of processing it into compost. Plus, the Preserves provide convenient community access to a free, valuable resource for yards and gardens: mulch!
How is the mulch made?
Brush — twigs and branches collected curbside from residents on their recycling day — is hauled to the
Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station. Here, the brush is passed through a tub grinder, which shreds the woody material into pieces roughly 2 to 4 inches long. The resulting mulch is then transported to the distribution sites listed below.
In January and February, the mulch is mostly from recycled Christmas trees. That's a great time to pick up a high-quality (not to mention fragrant!) mulch for use later in the year.)
You must load the mulch you wish to take. Please bring your own tools and bags or containers.
How can I use free County mulch?
The mulch from our Neighborhood Mulch Preserves is good for:
mulch around woody plants such as bushes, shrubs, and trees
cover material on walkways or other areas where you want to control vegetation.
a carbon-rich addition to home compost piles
Mulch from our Neighborhood Mulch Preserves is not the same product that you buy from garden centers or nurseries!
Please observe these cautions:
Age the mulch before applying it. Our mulch is "green", or fresh. It must be aged for at least 6 to 8 months before it can be used for your flowers, vegetables, or other plants with tender or shallow root systems.
Wear protective clothing. Mulch may contain allergens, poison ivy, termites, and/or carpenter ants. (Composting/curing may eliminate most of these problems.) Wear proper clothing when handling this mulch, such as a long sleeve shirt and pants, gloves, eye protection and a dust mask.
The Division of Solid Waste Services makes no guarantee about the quality of the mulch, nor assumes any liability for injury or property damage as a result of the use of this mulch.
Can I use free County mulch on playgrounds?
We do not recommend this mulch for use on playgrounds.