Meckenburg County’s Compost is certified organic through the Organic Materials Review Institute!

What is Compost?

Compost is an organic soil amendment that looks and feels like soil. It’s the result of microorganisms decomposing organic matter through the process of “aerobic biodegradation”. Mecklenburg County produces compost that we have “branded” as Queen City Compost ™ from leaves, ground up trees and organic yard waste.

We produce Queen City Compost by making “windrows” of the organic items listed above which “heats up” to around 150 degrees – that temperature is held for a prolonged period to kill off bugs, weed seeds and essentially “cures” the material. The windrow materials are screened after curing and then the compost is ready for use.

Compost should be mixed into the soil to improve soil structure and add nutrients. Because it is so rich and full of these nutrients, it is best tilled into soil for your plants to thrive and it should not be used alone.

As it continues to decompose in the soil, compost adds nutrients over time and continues to improve your garden soil. In garden beds where plants are already in place, compost is sometimes used to side-dress plants by spreading it around the plant and either allowing it to naturally work into the soil or using handheld gardening tools to lightly mix it into the soil without injuring existing root systems. Using compost has also been shown to substantially reduce watering. On lawns where compost has been mixed, significantly less watering is needed as the soil has a greater ability to retain water on its own.

What is Wood Mulch?

Wood mulch is comprised of wood that is ground in large commercial grinders. Wood
mulch varies based upon what materials are ground up.

  • Brush Mulch generally contains a mix of hard and soft woods and can contain limbs
    and leaves.
  • Select Hardwood Mulch generally is comprised of just tree trunks, and does not
    contain any leaves.
  • Colored Mulch, generally is made from Select Hardwood Mulches as it retains the
    colorant better. It requires extra processing to add the color to the mulch.

Wood mulch is typically used as the topmost portion of ground coverings for plants. It
can be used to refer to both inorganic and organic materials that are spread on top of soil as a top dressing. The material used could be leaves, lawn clippings, shredded wood.

Mulch provides benefits such as limiting weed growth, moderating soil temperature,
reducing the potential for erosion, and enhancing moisture retention in the underlying soil. It also adds visual appeal to your area.

When using organic mulch, such as shredded leaves, shredded wood or lawn clippings, gardeners get the added benefits of improved soil structure and added nutrients as it decomposes.

What is the Difference Between Compost and Mulch?

Okay, now that we have a basic understanding of what compost is and what mulch is, let’s make the differences a bit clearer.

Compost is mixed into the soil; whereas, mulch is spread on top of the soil.

Compost is best at adding nutrients to the soil and “improving” soil structure.

Mulch is best at limiting weed growth, preventing erosion and retaining soil moisture.

Compost is made up of decomposed, organic materials; whereas, mulch can be inorganic (think ornamental rocks or ground rubber chips) or organic materials like wood, that, in most cases, are not decomposed.

Compost is usually a rich dark color of deep brown to black, and no colorants are added. Mulch, however, can be dyed with various colorants in big machines to make it black, brown, golden or even red. Dying is more expensive and will cost more.

Mulch & Compost For Sale
at All County Full Service Recycling Centers

In Mecklenburg County, we process leaves, brush, grass, (aka yard waste) to create high-quality mulch and compost products. You can use our mulch and compost for your plant beds, flower gardens and lawns and it will reward you with beautiful results.

Huge Savings Compared to Retail Garden Stores
Please visit the Fee Booth for any mulch or compost materials


Brushwood & Hardwood Mulch

Select Hardwood
Various Different Shades
Come Choose The Right One!


Both loose bulk & bagged compost available



The Compost Central & Recycling Center or Foxhole Landfill & Recycling Centers Only.
Mecklenburg County only accepts Credit Card sales of Master Card, Visa and Discover. Our fee collection booths do not accept cash.


Need compost or mulch delivered?

Contact: 24K Hauling for prices and hours of operation in one of the following ways:
Phone: (704) 916-9379
Contact: Walker Home Improvement for prices and hours of operation in one of the following ways:
E-Mail: / Phone: (704) 501-6258
Contact: Off-Duty Hauling & Removal for prices and hours of operation in one of the following ways:
E-Mail: / Phone: (704) 506-5538
Contact: McLean’s Lawn & Landscape for prices and hours of operation in one of the following ways:
E-Mail: / Phone: (704) 550-7066

Bagged Compost

$3.65 per bag.
+ Tax per bag
1.0 cubic ft. BAGS of COMPOST

Bagged Compost is available at the Foxhole Recycling Center & Compost Central Recycling Centers only.

Loose Compost

Starts at $20/cubic yard
A cubic yard of Compost is approximately twenty 40lb bags.

-Compost (1-29 cubic yds) – $18.65/yd3 + tax

-Compost (30-99 cubic yds) – $18.00/yd3 + tax

-Compost (100-499 cubic yds) – $16.50/yd3 + tax
All orders over 5 cubic yards must be picked up from the Compost Central location at 140 Valleydale Rd.

Bagged Mulch

$2.50 per bag.
+ Tax per bag
1.5 cubic ft. BAGS of MULCH

Bagged Mulch is available at the Foxhole Recycling Center & Compost Central Recycling Centers only.

FREE Bulk Brush Mulch Through June 30, 2023! 

(Brush mulch only)

Hardwood and Select Mulch $15/yd3 + tax

Dyed/Colored Mulch $26/yd3 + tax (Coming in SPRING 2023)

*A cubic yard (yd3) of Mulch is approximately ten 40lb bags

Contact Us


Email Us at:
Use our recorded Infoline at: 980-314-3867 (DUMP)
We are seeking additional partnerships with interested delivery companies to deliver mulch and compost.

Please contact us at if you are interested in being a delivery firm for us.