Compost, mulch programs can help with spring garden prep

By Kari Spurgeon

Will spring come in like a lion or a lamb? I am sure we can all agree that the weather lately has been very unpredictable. No matter what the spring weather will look like, it is good to plan ahead and be ready for it.

We want to make sure that Bartholomew County residents are aware of the compost and mulch programs here at Bartholomew County Solid Waste Management District.

It’s important when preparing your garden to make sure that it has enough nutrients to grow properly. One of the easiest ways to fertilize your soil is by adding compost.

Compost is rich hummus that is produced when plants break down back to a type of soil which is often referred to as black gold. By adding a small amount of compost to your garden or flower bed it acts as a natural fertilizer and can make a huge difference in your plant life and production.

No worries if you don’t compost at home, the Columbus/Bartholomew County Yard Waste Site will help you. The site recycles yard waste into usable materials.

All limbs and brush that is collected is ground into mulch, and all leaves, grass and garden waste are placed into what we call windrows, and turned until it eventually turns into compost. All Bartholomew County residents are welcome to free mulch and compost, if you load it yourself.

There are options for those who cannot or choose not to load material by themselves: Senior Loading Days and Friday Loading Days (April-October). Each year, the solid waste management district offers two days in March when we will load mulch or compost for senior citizens of Bartholomew County for free.

The dates for this year’s senior loading are 8 a.m. to noon March 22 and 29. Also, look for more information about our free loading day on Earth Day.

For all Bartholomew County residents, our regular loading season begins April 7 (but closed Good Friday, April 14) and ends on Oct. 27. Every Friday that we are open from 2 to 4:30 p.m., pay only $10 and we will load the mulch or compost for you. Residents will simply need to stop by the district office at 720 S. Mapleton St., Columbus, to pay for a load (about the size of a pick-up truck bed), and then head up to the Yard Waste Site where the operator will load your truck or trailer.

For more information visit our website at, or call our office at 812-376-2614. Like our Facebook page by searching for Bartholomew County Solid Waste District.

Kari Spurgeon is the education coordinator at the Bartholomew County Solid Waste Management District. She can be reached at 812-376-2614 (press 5 then 4) or