Mulch not a moneymaker for Gary yet
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org/302-0949 October 18, 2013 5:16PM
Updated: November 20, 2013 6:11AM
GARY — Despite a lack of revenue from compost and mounds of wood mulch, the Gary Sanitary Board of Commissioners agreed to pay $30,000 more to a Lake Station company that’s providing the service.
Pro-Tree Inc. will receive the payment in addition to the $55,000 professional service contract awarded by the board in May.
Next year, however, GSD Executive Director Dan Vicari said Friday, the service will likely be open for bids.
Vicari said officials estimated the costs for wood mulching of yard waste trucked to the GSD facility at about $5,000 a month, but the volume was higher than anticipated and costs averaged about $11,000 per month.
He said there have been several citywide cleanup efforts and the General Services Department has been cleaning weeds and debris from alleys.
Vicari said the GSD plans to sell wood mulch and compost, but likely won’t be able to market the yard waste until spring. He estimated the material to be worth about $43,000, but the cost to accumulate it was $55,000, plus the additional $30,000 awarded Friday.
Vicari said it was still “a big win,” because the GSD had been paying its previous waste hauler $200,000 annually to haul away yard waste.
Board member Sharon Mallory said she would like to see a strategy plan to make the program broader and self-sustaining.
Vicari said wood mulch is available for free to residents at a city-authorized dump site at 7015 W. 5th Ave.