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County offers mulch with free loading

CONYERS - Rockdale County officials are encouraging local gardeners and landscapers to pick up what they say is high-quality mulch, free of charge, at the Rockdale County Recycling Center.

The finer mulch being produced at the county's recycling center, located at 1200 Sigman Road, is ground up twice from wood debris dropped off by residents.

County officials are offering free loading of mulch for anyone, residents or business owners, and hope the higher quality, which they said is near that which is sold at home improvement stores, will sway people to take them up on their offer.

"We're offering it as a public service," said Rockdale County spokeswoman Holly Lafontaine. "We need to rotate the pile, but we prefer to get it off site."

In the past, mulch from the county's recycling center has been rough and would have been good for lining a trail in the woods but not very good for a rose garden.

In addition, the county had accepted all types of wood for the grinder. It was not uncommon to find non-wood objects mixed in the mulch. However, a large mulch fire in August caused the recycling center to be closed for several weeks. As a result, county Public Works officials reconsidered their policies on accepting wood debris.

The recycling center staff now grinds yard debris only and separately disposes of manufactured wood products, like pallets and treated wood.

The offer of free loading will continue indefinitely, Lafontaine said. Commercial haulers are asked to make reservations during the week between Tuesday and Friday. Otherwise, it's first come, first serve on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"We try to reserve Saturdays for county residents, but we can work with commercial users on that day, too. They may have to wait in line," she said.

Wood drop-off at the recycling center is for county residents only and is accepted on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information or to make a reservation for loading, call the recycling center at 770-785-6883.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.