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  • Dave Kinzer

Take Advantage Of These Free Offers (Springfield, IL)

(This post will be most useful to people living in and around Springfield, IL. If you don't live there, check and see if your community offers similar deals.)

When considering the cost of something, cheap is good, but free is better. There are several free services available to people in Springfield, Illinois.

In response to COVID-19, the Sangamon Mass Transit District (SMTD) is offering free bus rides. SMTD has made it very easy to take advantage of this opportunity: you don’t need a pass or ID or anything. As their website says, “If you need the bus, you can take the bus.”

If you’ve never used it before, but have been considering using public transportation to save money or for any reason, now would be a great time to try it.

SMTD’s website doesn’t state how long bus rides will be free. It just says, “fares will continue to be waived until further notice.”

Remember to wear your face mask, as they are required to ride any bus. For more details, go to

Those of you with flower or garden beds know how valuable and useful mulch can be. Unfortunately, it can also be pretty expensive.

To cover even a small garden with a three-inch layer of mulch, you might have to buy 20-25 bags of mulch. That will cost you approximately $75. If you have a large garden, it would be easy to spend several hundred dollars on mulch.

Or you could go to Evan’s Recycling and get it for free. Evan’s Recycling, located at 2100 J. David Jones Parkway, has huge mounds of mulch free for the taking.

A trade-off for the mulch being free is that you never know exactly what you’ll get. Evan’s makes the mulch by shredding branches that people drop off (another free service!). So if you prefer a particular kind of wood mulch, like cypress or cedar, you may or may not find it. You’ll likely just get a mix of random kinds of wood. And if you like your mulch dyed red or black, you won’t be able to get that.

But hey, it’s free. Free that is, as long as you’re willing to load it yourself. Scoop as much mulch as you want into your truck.

If you prefer, you can have Evan’s drop a load of mulch into your truck for five dollars. One load will fill most pickup trucks. If you go this route, it won’t be free anymore, but you will still save money and a lot of time.

I’ve used Evan’s for both dropping off branches and getting mulch, and everything went smoothly.

Evan’s Recycling is open Monday-Friday from 7am to 5pm, and Saturday from 7am-noon. If you need more information, call them at 217-391-0886.

Another handy service the city provides city residents at no charge is the pickup and disposal of large items. Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County is actually taking care of this service.

If you have an old couch, mattress, water heater, grill, and/or other similar items you want to get rid of, Habitat can help.

To schedule a pickup, simply call Habitat at 217-523-2710. They will tell you the date they will pick up your item. Then you simply place it on the curb the night before, and the next day Habitat will pick it up.

There is a limit to this service; Habitat will pick up no more than three items twice a year, or six items once a year from each residence. Some items, such as televisions, tires, paint, and remodeling waste are prohibited.

I used this service recently. They took away our old and broken couch. Unfortunately, dehumidifiers are on the prohibited list, so they wouldn’t take that. But dehumidifiers take up much less space than a couch, so I’m happy.

If you want to arrange a pick up date, or have questions about this program, call Habitat at 217-523-2710.

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