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Ivy MUC has so much mulch it's giving it away for free

Folks planning to mulch this season can get as much as they need from the Ivy Material Utilization Center, totally free of charge.

“You can come in and carry it out by the bucket or by the tractor trailer. There are no limitations,” Phil McKalips, director of solid waste for the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority, told The Daily Progress.

The Ivy center has a surplus of freshly ground mulch made from local trees and vegetation with no dyes.

In past years the authority has sold the mulch, but this year it is giving it away for free.

“We don’t care if you’re reselling it. We just need it to go away,” McKalips said, estimating that the Ivy facility currently has 1,500 tons of mulch available.

The site sometimes disposes of hazardous waste and hosts furniture or tire collection events. But converting vegetation into mulch has increasingly become a larger piece of the operation.

McKalips said that usually the site would handle 2,000 to 2,500 tons of vegetation each year. But last year, it received 7,500 tons. He estimates the increase is due to increased development in Albemarle County.

“People are bringing it in by the tractor trailer load sometimes,” he said. “Our intention is to not ever go back to selling mulch.”

With so much to get rid of, and with more expected to be produced next month, locals are welcome to visit the Ivy Material Utilization Center at 4576 Dick Woods Road and leave with as much mulch as they can carry.

“Vegetation comes in and the mulch can go out too,” McKalips said. “In the fall, as people are slowly returning to their gardens, now is a good time to put another four inches of mulch on your bed.”

RSWA put out a statement on Tuesday to encourage people to take advantage of the free program.

“Please come and get some because we’re sitting on a lot of it,” McKalips said.


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