By The Olympian
Thurston County is ending its free mulch program at the Waste and Recovery Center (WARC) in Lacey on Jan. 31 because of concerns about customer safety and materials contained in the mulch.
Mulch will continue to be available on a first-come, first-served basis through the end of the month. Customers will need to find alternative sources beginning Feb. 1 for the spring gardening season and beyond.
A news release from the county says concerns have grown about customer safety, including potential hazards during loading and unloading, and liability issues.
Also, because the mulch is made from community-generated materials, there is a risk of noxious weeds or other unwanted plants growing from it. And without testing for herbicides, it isn’t guaranteed the mulch is chemical-free.
Thurston County remains committed to keeping yard waste out of the landfill, the county news release says. Yard waste collected at the curb or hauled to the WARC will continue to be composted at a nearby commercial composting facility and used as a soil amendment.
Residents and businesses can help ensure organic waste is properly composted by only including the materials mentioned in the current accepted materials list, the news release says. For more information, call 360-867-2491 or email ThurstonSolidWaste@co.thurston.wa.us.