14 Sep 2014
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Mallozzi Tackles New Canaan’s ‘Dirty Little Secret’: Mulch

The collection spot down on Lapham Road is meant for residents only, but landscaping crews regularly load up on the mulch that New Canaan provides. The first selectman’s solution? Make the mulch available at the Transfer Station only.

New Canaan recently purchased a $300,000 compost turner whose sole purpose is to help create the mulch that long has been available for residents at 9 a.m. in the pickup area at just west of Waveny.

Yet it’s not just residents who have been helping themselves to the mulch, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi says.

“The ‘dirty little secret’ in New Canaan is that we do a wonderful job at providing mulch for our citizens, but quite frankly most of that mulch ends up in the back of pickup trucks and utility vehicles of landscapers throughout Fairfield County,” Mallozzi told Patch (see video).

For two weeks, the town Department of Public Works is leaving just a half-load of mulch at the Lapham Road area, and the other half has been taken over to the Transfer Station off of Lakeview Avenue. The idea is that with more eyes on the mulch pile, it’s less likely nonresidents will help themselves to the mulch. Mose Saccary, the DPW’s highway superintendent, said the policy is that the mulch itself is for town residents only.

Asked who is responsible for enforcing that policy, Saccary said, “At this point, nobody. We are just hoping that [moving the mulch to the Transfer Station] will have an effect and cut down on the problem.”

The town will put up signs Tuesday at the former mulch site on Lapham Road (where, beyond the brick wall and the cordoned-off area, the town will continue to make the mulch). Within the Transfer Station itself, the mulch will be available right in front of where the town keeps its salt for roads.

Residents are asked to not drive over the scale as they pass the scale house on the way down there. Asked how the town would handle landscaping crews that come to the Transfer Station to get mulch that they say is for a local resident’s home, Saccary said the rule will be that a resident must be present to collect the mulch.

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