The reality is most tree contractors don’t have a yard to dump their mulch to sell later, and with the cost of dumping at waste, the station is becoming way too expensive. Here are a few creative ways to dump mulch for FREE!


Common Ways:

No. 1 Schools

We all know this one as a good one, but how do you go about it??

You need THIS link saved on your phone or iPad for the road:

It’s a complete list of Australia schools by area.

Call and ask to speak to the “groundskeeper” or “maintenance”. Let them know you have a job in their area and can give them X cubes free.

Shouldn’t take more than a hand full of calls to get a school needing mulch and willing to take it there and then.

australian native landscapes
flower power

No. 2 Landscape suppliers

Same as above, these guys are always looking for leaf litter mulch. You dump free and they sell on for a profit…. It’s a win-win.

We don’t have a directory for you, but a quick google search for “ landscape materials/ suppliers” for your city will bring up an extensive list.

No. 3 Landscapers ALWAYS need mulch

This is overlooked way too often by tree contractors who could have a strategic alliance with 10 or 20 landscapers who are in constant need of leaf litter mulch.

Also, landscapers tackle gardens everyday and come across a tree that is too big a job for them, so they subbie out the work to random Arborists…. Be their go-to-arborist!

Try this: Send a typed letter (see template below) with your card in it letting them know you are happy to deliver leaf litter mulch (with good notice) and free to their job site at half the price they would pay in landscape suppliers. Or you could come in free and tell them to call you with any tree too big to handle.

lanscapers letter

Not so common ways:

No. 4 Land fill needed ads

I had a great contact in western Sydney. They were a mine who were constantly looking for a free landfill.

It was a 40-minute hike out there, but I could dump any type of mulch (including palm) free…it was worth the trip!! I only used it when I got stuck.

Being a mining country you’re bound to have one no more than an hour from you, looking for landfills. Worth a few calls in my view.

No. 5 Place an ad for free mulch on gumtree

sell much

If you have a look above, there are actually ads on gum tree now from people looking for mulch!

No. 6 Mulch back to customer

It always worth asking the customer if they want some mulch. They may not take it all, but a lot of the time they will lighten your load… Again free!

This is actually a big one that will win you points with the customers and help word of mouth sales.

You can even ask you the customers if they have any friends or family who would like some mulch delivered free!

need more work

Lets Get Sneaky:

#7. Doing The Rounds

So far the last 6, although they are pretty creative, we are not re-inventing the wheel and they are not going to really help you when you get stuck with a couple of tons of palm logs.

Dumping palm logs is the Achilles heel for all tree contractors and can cost several thousand each year just in tipping fees.

This sneaky trick is taking #5 to the next level.

As discussed above, each council will either have specific clean updates for areas or they will allow you to call twice a year for a clean up at your specific address. The latter is perfect for #5, but if it simply is not possible never fear….. we go with option A.

Let’s use an example Parramatta City Council, Sydney. When they have a “clean up” they do 4 or 5 blocks at a time twice a year and generally allow 2 x cubic metres of waste per household.

Timing: The fact that they only do a few blocks at a time means it takes them months and months to get through all areas they cover. Then when they do, it’s almost time to start again for the 2nd round (you get 2 cleanups per year in most cases). So these are going on ALL the time and if it’s not your immediate local council there will be one within a 15-minute drive that is doing it right now.

All you need to do is make a few calls to the council(s) to find out where the current clean up is. Specifically what streets and the collection date. Now we definitely DON’T want to be taking up someone else’s space on the sidewalk when they have their own rubbish to get rid of.

So you are best just adding a couple of logs to each pile or waiting until the night before pickup day and adding bulk to the smallest pile on the street.

And there you have it, free and legal dumping of palm logs.

Yes, it will take you a few calls to find out where the current council clean-ups are, but we are talking a saving of several hundred dollars each time.

Hope this helps and share if you like it!

Author: Ben McInerney is a qualified arborist with over 15 years of industry experience. He uses his in-depth knowledge of the tree service industry to give readers to most accurate information on tree service costs and helps to educate them about the benefits of using a certified arborist for tree trimming and removal work.