Sunday, April 22, 2007

Free, Fast & Friendly

Eight o'clock on a bright Sunday morning. I wait briefly in a line of sixty pickup trucks idling alongside a country road just outside Upper Marlboro, Maryland. We all wanted the same thing. A massive pile of recycled yard waste mulch steams next to a "two-yard" front end loader. Friendly Prince Georges County personnel direct me into a fast moving line of other suburban cowboys with a smile and a nod.

The whump of 2 cubic yards of free mulch falling into my silver Ford 4 by 4. It smells like the forest, musty and fresh at the same time. Another smiling flag man directs me to the exit and wishes me a good day. On my way out of the yard, a laughing lady wearing an orange highway vest hands me a bag of recycling literature and two packages of herb seeds while another man loads a 50 pound bag of Leafgro compost on the top of the pile of mulch in my truck's bed. "Thanks buddy, have a great day."

I wave and grin back at them all. It is not just the $50 dollars of free mulch, but the more the efficiency and friendliness of these County employees that simply made my day. And I got the chance to help recycle material that would've clogged the landfill.

I was back home on Laurel Avenue by nine. Now where is my shovel? Thanks DER.
The Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources (DER) held its annual, free Mulch Giveaway for county citizens and residents on Sunday, April 22, 2007.
The one-day event lasted from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Western Branch Composting Facility located at 6601 S.E. Crain Highway in Upper Marlboro (from Crain Highway, proceed on Maude Savoy Brown Road and follow the Visitors' Center signs to the Facility). In addition to receiving free mulch, participants may tour the Visitors' Center to learn more about the composting process and the county's recycling programs.
"DER received an overwhelming response to the Mulch Giveaway held last spring," stated Charles W. Wilson, Acting Director of DER. "More than 200 vehicles visited the site to pick up over 270 cubic yards of mulch."
The Mulch Giveaway is restricted to non-commercial vehicles, ¾ ton maximum weight. A skid loader is available to load mulch into residents' pickup trucks. Residents loading mulch into their cars will need to bring their own containers and tools.
For more information on the Mulch Giveaway, contact the Waste Management Division at (301) 883-5045.


d-schwartz said...

Did you ask if they could bring some up closer to this end of the county? How much gas did you use to drive all the way to Upper Marlboro and back?

Rick Wilson said...

D-schwartz: I did not ask anyone if they could haul it up to the North county. That would be nice.

Yes, it cost me time and money to go get it. It is about 28 miles to the facility from my house here in Laurel. That is 56 mi roundtrip at 18 miles per gallon. That is about $10 worth of gas in my Ford.

But I got a generous 2 cubic yards of mulch. It cost me about $22 a yard for bulk much in Burtonsville. My time is free and I truly enjoyed the ride to Upper Marlboro.

Besides, when is the last time Jack Johnson and Tom Dernoga gave you something for free?