For years, local governments have struggled with choosing the right option for reducing the amount of brush, wood, and recyclable materials going into their landfills. The options available to most local governments include mulching, composting and recycling. The applicable regulations for each option and the end-market development of the resulting product should be considered at the time that a management method is selected.
To help local governments choose the best option, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has developed a series of articles on mulching, composting and recycling. These articles discuss the applicable environmental regulations that apply to each option and steps to take to ensure that end products have a viable market. The first article in the three-part series focuses on mulching operations.
State regulations define mulch as: Ground, coarse, woody yard trimmings and clean wood material which has not been treated or painted. Mulch is normally used around plants and trees to retain moisture and suppress weed growth and is intended for use on top of soil or other growing media rather than into the soil or growing media. Mulch does not include wood that has been systemically killed using herbicides.