The Richmond Parks Board may have stumbled onto a cost-cutting measure in an unlikely place.
Rick Eiler, of Millville’s Organic Matters Compost Farm, brought an idea to the Richmond Parks Board Monday evening: let him locally produce all mulch and landing-area woodchips used on Richmond’s playgrounds, instead of trucking in the materials from other producers.
“The biggest benefit, is I’m always accessible,” Eiler said. “I could trim the limbs . . . then we could turn around and use the chips around trees and in the parks themselves, without having to haul them off and haul something new in.”
Doing so cuts the Richmond board’s expenses in a few places. In addition to Eiler being close by and having a fast turnaround in producing his products, he could also grind branches and limbs to make a “more uniform” substance if that’s what the city needs, he said. Most of the mulch, blended topsoil and other materials processed by Organic Matters Compost Farm come from 100 percent local yard waste.
Nothing is set in stone, as of yet. Eiler said Parks Superintendent Terry Dickey still needs to thoroughly compare the cost of Eiler’s products versus what the board currently pays. Also, a switch to Eilers’s products, which Eilers hopes includes providing mulch to the city as well as woodchips, depends on whether the parks’ needs require chemically treated chips.