Mulch ado about nothing: Free service halted for now

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Mark Wineka
Salisbury Post
Spring has not sprung at the old landfill.
Salisbury residents used to getting free mulch at the old landfill off Old Wilkesboro Road have been shut out this season as the city works to comply with a state environmental order.
Public Works Director Tony Cinquemani said Thursday the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources wants the city to reseed the area around Grants Creek and the wetlands and basically do a general cleanup of the whole Material Handling Site.
“We’re hoping to be back in business within the next few months,” Cinquemani said, “… as soon as we can get back to where we need to be.”
This site is where all of Salisbury’s yard waste, such as limbs, leaves and clippings, has gone for years.
The city normally grinds up or otherwise processes the vegetation on site, then gives it away by the scoop to residents every Friday. The mulch is free and available year-round.
“That’s full-fledged recycling there,” Cinquemani said. “Folks appreciate it.”
For the past couple of months, people have been turned away as the city tries to clean up the site and reseed to the state’s specifications. Cinquemani said he wishes he could help with the mulch many residents count on.
“They need it because it’s planting season,” he said.
A lot of the trash on the site included plastic bags in which residents had put their leaves.
Cinquemani stressed the city was not selling mulch to anybody.
Some of the recent yard waste collected has been taken to another city-owned yard and stockpiled while the cleanup continues at the Material Handling Site.
Cinquemani said getting the site ready could go faster by hiring a private contractor, but the city’s trying to use its own manpower and save money.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263 or