Free mulch and compost at the Dickinson Recycling Center

Photo of a tractor moving compost

When people bring tree stumps, branches, leaves and grass clippings into the Dickinson Recycling Center, that green waste is seen as just that — waste.

However, staff at the recycling center in Milford see that green waste for what it can be — beautiful mulch and healthy compost.

All brush brought to the recycling center is put through a simple process to become mulch; it goes through a chipping machine. Making compost is slightly more labor intensive though.

Compost begins with leaves and grass clippings.

“We make them into wind rows, and I also add in some already done compost,” said Charles Vigdal, Dickinson Recycling Center manager. “We mix that together and let it sit for a couple of months, turning it and getting it wet to help it break down.”

That final compost is then moved to another pile and sifted into fine granules to make sure any inorganic material is removed before customers take it home.

Photo of Bobcat sifting compost

“It’s very organic loam,” Vigdal said. “It’s almost like potting soil, so it’s very nice stuff.”

Anyone can pick up mulch or compost free of charge. Simply bring a shovel, containers and someone willing to do the labor of loading it up. If you would like helping loading from staff, a new loading fee has been added. The first wheel loader bucket, approximately 3-3.5 cubic yards, is free. The loading fee for each wheel loader bucket full after that is $10 per bucket.

Allowing people to take the compost and mulch at no charge is a service the Dickinson Recycling Center offers to the community and is an outlet for the green waste brought to the center.

“It’s a way to get rid of it and also provide something for the public,” Vigdal said. “It’s a win-win. It keeps it out of the landfill, which is our job, to recycle what can be recycled.”

For those working on the opposite side of the landscaping spectrum, who are clearing green waste instead of bringing in compost and mulch, the Dickinson Recycling Center fees are as follows for Dickinson County residents: $0.50 per bag, $10 for a one-axle trailer, $20 for a two-axle trailer, $10 per pickup load, $20 for a single-axle truck, $30 for a double-axle truck or $60 for a roll off or side dump trailer.

The Dickinson Recycling Center also takes a variety of other materials, including electronics, tires, white goods, scrap metal and household hazardous materials. For disposal fees, click here or call 712-338-2549.

Photo of rotors

The Dickinson Recycling Center is located at 2260 220th St., Milford, and is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

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