After all of our raking and bagging over the last week, we had close to 40 bags of mulch out on the curb by garbage day (plus three garbage cans of tree branches).
Having lived all week with the bags taking up our entire front porch, we were eager for the city to take them away to turn into compost...but by the afternoon, our curb was still looking like the picture above (minus the tree branches, and with better lighting conditions), with this note tucked into one of the bags:
(I love an impromptu Spanish lesson! "No pudimos hoy recoger sus recortes de patio." By process of elimination, "recortes de patio" has to mean "yard trimmings," which fascinates me -- "patio trimmings"?)
Uh oh. (Incidentally, the note itself was pretty dirty, to stress the point, I guess. I wonder what they do to drive home the point with violations of number 7...ouch!)
I think the problem came from the fact that, when we were bringing the bags out to the curb, the bottom of one of them tore a little, and I'm guessing that when the pickup guys tried to lift that one (which ended up in the unfortunate first position), a tiny bit of dirt that had settled on the bottom trickled out (as it did when we were moving it), leading them to believe there was a bunch of dirt in the bags.
Anyway, not to be deterred, I turned to my friend Craig for help. Okay, maybe "friend" is an overstatement, but he's my go-to guy pretty much any time I want to get rid of something, since he has that list and all. (I'll admit that I don't like him as much to help me find things. Too much work and frustration.) Anyway, I wrote up a Craigslist ad, explaining that I had set everything out for the city but that they thought my mulch was "too dirty" and that there may be some small pieces of rock but that it's basically good mulch for anyone who wants it. In the interest of full disclosure, I even included this picture so readers could see that it's not going to be winning any mulch beauty contests, but it'll get the job done:
Within a couple of hours, someone e-mailed wanting a few bags, and later that day someone else got in touch and wanted everything that was left...which she picked up yesterday in two trips in her minivan to take to her five acres in the country. And with that, order was restored to our curb. Like last weekend, it was clear that she was as happy to be getting our old mulch as we were to be getting rid of it. That's what I love about Craigslist -- there's something for everyone (or, there's someone for everything), and it enables the reuse of things that might otherwise be headed for the landfill.
Well done, Craig.