Austin Recycling Program – Free Tumbled Glass and Organic Mulch

Need unlimited, free tumbled glass or organic mulch?  A friend of mine told me about this program and it took me a while to find the details.

This well-hidden, gem of a program put on by the  COA is called  the Austin Resource Recovery Center. It’s a place where folks like us can take our trucks and fill up as many times we want with glass or mulch.

Phone: (512) 243-3325

Hours: Monday – Friday; 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Closed Saturday and Sunday

Here’s the map.  (south of Austin Bergstrom International Airport).

The city will load the glass mulch into a pickup for $9.64 per ton (no cash or credit cards, checks only). You can load it yourself for free.  Bring your own shovel

Glass Description:  Color-mixed processed glass aggregate. Generated from the sorting of commingled materials picked up from the City of Austin’s curbside recycling program. Contaminants: Approx. 5%; includes paper and caps.

Directions for Use – Put Glass in bucket or tub, put on rubber gloves.. fill with water, stir up glass so paper and plastic pieces come to the top. Wash, rinse repeat x 3

The mulch is about the same.. Whatever the COA collects curbside, it mulches and dumps into this pile.. It’s not going to look as good as store-bought stuff, but…hey… it’s free!

I put the stuff down without weed barrier (you can see a few poking through). Something about the sunlight refracting through the glass, heating up the surface and soil beneath, prevents grass from growing throughout. This stuff is perfect for low-light or metal gardens like the one i’m starting pictured below:

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