OLYMPIA – The free mulch program at the Waste and Recovery Center (WARC) in Lacey is ending January 31, 2023. 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.
Growing concerns about customer safety, including potential hazards during loading and unloading, and liability issues, led to the decision to end the program. Because the mulch is made from community-generated materials, there is a risk of noxious weeds or other unwanted plants growing from it. Also, 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. Yard waste collected at the curb or self-hauled to the WARC will continue to be composted at a nearby commercial composting facility and used as a soil amendment.