A local economist has boldly claimed that there’s no such thing as a free pile of mulch, in response to community claims that the big pile of shredded tree branches near Kalparrin Lake is basically a free for all. Professor Stanley McAlister, has neatly reworked the long-time economics theory that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”, claiming the exact same sentiments can be applied to accessing the council’s large mulch dump in Greensborough.

Speaking exclusively to The Watsonia Bugle about his heavily-researched adaptation of the world-famous theorem, Professor McAlister said, “The two concepts are essentially the same. In terms of economics, the ‘no such thing as a free lunch’ adage relates to opportunity cost. For example, the selection of one type of product means you will not get an alternative product. It comes down to the idea that decision making ultimately means trading one option off against another. In the case of the allegedly free mulch, your opportunity cost would be missing out on purchasing a slightly more high-quality form of mulch from a store.”

Professor McAlister then expanded on his hypothesis. He said, “On a deeper level, actually purchasing mulch supports the vendor from whom you purchase it from, who then supports their supply chain, and also renumerates the original provider. So, as you can see, the idea of pinching some so-called ‘free’ mulch from the local council pile has a much more wide-ranging impact than the slight elevation of blood pressure you experience when you sneak into that compound and fill up the boot of your car.”

Despite that detailed and, at times, laborious explanation, it seems not all amateur gardeners agree. Speaking on the strict condition of anonymity, one local man said, “Don’t listen that boffin, I bet he hasn’t picked up a shovel in years – if ever! I’m telling ya, I never feel more alive than when I sneak up to that pile at night and fill me car up, it’s the best! Sometimes, just for a thrill, I even do it during daylight. Fair dinkum, it arouses me. Big time.”