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:



5 Responses to “Austin Recycling Program – Free Tumbled Glass and Organic Mulch”

  1. AJM April 28, 2012 at 1:45 am #

    It looks like the city has stopped this program and no longer has glass mulch available.

    • Graham Cohen April 29, 2012 at 12:00 am #

      Oh no! This was the greatest deal ever!

      I wish I had known, I would have filled my truck up

      • Graham Cohen May 23, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

        This program is alive and well. We just used this facility to mulch a volunteer project we did at the mary lee foundation

        • Deborah Carroll May 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

          Graham- Where did you find it? The city website says they have discontinued it…

          • Graham Cohen May 29, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

            Our company used this location for our Red Day program. We picked up two truck loads of mulch and glass for the Mary Lee Foundation projects. Gates were open and program is alive and well.

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