Town of Skaneateles to sell extra mulch; save old railroad bridge

After stockpiling mulch for several years at the transfer station, the town of Skaneateles has more than it knows what to do with.

“It’s something that we just keep compiling year after year. We never seem to be able to get rid of it,” Highway Superintendent Allan Wellington said.

This led Wellington to propose that the town sell the excess mulch to a local landscaping company.

After discussing the matter at its Feb. 6 meeting, the town board resolved to put out a request for bids for a contract to purchase the town’s extra mulch on an ongoing basis. A contractor would be able to haul away the current pile of mulch, estimated by Wellington to be about 5,000 cubic yards, and would purchase excess production in future years.

The mulch pile, located at the transfer station on Old Seneca Turnpike, is created every year by grinding up leaves and brush brought to the transfer station by residents. The village Department of Public Works does curbside brush pickup which also contributes to the pile at the transfer station.

The town does not own the grinding equipment, but rather pays to have a private company do it three times a year at a cost of about $10,000. Creating new revenue by selling the mulch would help offset the grinding costs and possibly allow them to double-grind some mulch to create a better quality product for residents, Wellington said.

Currently, town residents are able to take away as much mulch as they want, for home gardening, from the town pile for free.

Under the contract, the town will still be able to reserve a certain amount of mulch for its residents to use and the contract wouldn’t guarantee a set volume for the landscaping company, but rather would be based on how much the town produces, Attorney Tom Taylor said.

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