Take leaves to landfill, exit with mulch


Bring a bag, take a bag. What a deal!

Instead of buying mulch to spread around your trees and bushes, why not visit the county landfills and take some home free?

It's composted and ready to take home right now, and the Public Works Department hopes you'll bring in your leaves to add to the pile.

"The mulch program has been in effect at the Hoods Mill landfill for about a year now," said Eugene Kurfman, the county comptroller. "It's been a great success. We've actually had trouble keeping any mulch at all at the Hoods Mill landfill, and we've brought some down from the Northern landfill to make it available to people at Hood's Mill."

The mulch is made from wood, leaves and grass clippings that people bring in to the landfills. The county shreds the material and places it in a pile, where it is turned over regularly, begins to compost and becomes a mulch known to gardeners as "black gold."

Organic gardeners never seem to have enough compost for their gardens, but there has never been a program like this to help them out.

You can help the program, and help save landfill space, by bringing your leaves to the Hood's Mill landfill just off Route 97 in Sykesville, or Northern landfill if you live in upper Carroll County, instead of burning them or leaving them out with the rest of the garbage.

"The more leaves and grass clippings we get, the better the mulch becomes," Mr. Kurfman said.

"We're not selling it, because we feel the people are helping us keep our landfill costs down. We're giving them the mulch in return."

You also can get a flier called "Managing Your Yard Waste" at the landfill. The flier, which will soon be available in county libraries, too, explains how to compost your yard waste to make your own "black gold."

Meanwhile, bring your leaves to Hood's Mill and take home some free mulch.


The Berenstain Bears are coming to town!

The lovable children's book characters will charm your children at Kid's Mart, a new store in the Carrolltown Center, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

"My father and I will be Papa and Mama Bear," said Tim Sutch, the store's owner, "and I'm working with the drama group at Liberty High School to get players for Brother and Sister Bear.

"This is a family business, so I try to get help from family and friends, but you need very small people to play Brother and Sister Bear."

The new store, which opened just before Halloween, specializes in children's books, family videos and NASCAR racing products.

"I'm expanding my line to bring in chapter books for upper level elementary school children," Mr. Sutch said, "and we'll have "Free Willy," the video, on Nov. 16. The racing cars are really more for adults than kids, their collectible toys -- although you really can put them on the floor and play with them."

Mr. Sutch has lived in Carroll County for 20 years, and graduated from South Carroll High School. So, when he decided to open a store, this was the natural place.

For information about the Bears' visit, call 549-0191.


"Holiday Traditions," Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church's Bazaar will happen Saturday in the new church building on Liberty Road in Eldersburg.

Doors open at 9 a.m., and you must get your shopping done by 3 p.m.

Plan to be early. The Methodist Men's Group has been busy making bird feeders again and, if past experience is anything to go by, they'll be gone almost as soon as the doors open.

Those of you who remember Myra Hopkins' decorated Mrs. Butterworth's jars will want to see this year's collection, with the new characters she hopes will remain a secret until she unveils them at the bazaar. Storyteller Molly McEvoy will be in the sanctuary at 10:30 a.m. to entertain the youngest members of the family. For the rest of the day, music performed by the bell choir and others will float to the top of the room's vaulted ceiling.

Children will enjoy getting their pictures taken with Santa and making their own buttons. And, only they are allowed in the "Children Only" area, where little folks can find affordable and delightful gifts for those on their Christmas lists.

The wonderful greenery room, children's boutique, holiday room and handmade treasures will return again this year.

"We have some really nice wood products this year," said parishioner Sherry Perrine, "some beautiful Lazy Susans, wooden reindeer, shaker pegs, snowmen and other items. It should be great again this year."

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