Glendale resident Johnny Ventura could not be more pleased about the tree mulch dumped in his driveway on a recent morning.
The 64-year-old retiree uses the free urban wood waste from the Public Works Department for his front and back yards, as well as the walkway on the side of his house.
The city's code allows the mulch as ground cover to meet the requirement that 50% of all setback areas be landscaped with live plant material.
Ventura has taken advantage of Glendale's free tree mulch distribution five times since learning about the program two months ago.
"After seeing what I did, I called for my next door neighbor, and then my daughter wanted some too," Ventura said. "I have another neighbor I called for too and I helped set him up."
The mulch has decreased his household's water use while increasing his yard's water retention. From June to August, Ventura used 400 less cubic feet of water compared to the same period last year for a savings of about 3,000 gallons of water, according to his bills from Glendale Water & Power.