Ten Freebies Your City Probably Offers

Posted on 04/26/2010

Are you taking advantage of all that your city has to offer? Chances are you pay property tax or local sales tax which goes towards things like road projects, schools and the police force. But there are probably lots of other freebies your city provides. Check into whether your city has these perks.

Free Mulch - Lots of cities collect yard waste, turn it into mulch and offer it free of charge to residents as long as they can haul it away. Check with your city’s Public Works department to find out if you can get free mulch for your yard. Just beware that the mulch could contain insects or non-organic materials. Covering it with a tarp and allowing it to heat up under the sun should kill off those pests.

Free Entertainment - Parades, festivals, outdoor movies—your city probably offers lots of free entertainment. Summer months are likely packed with fun free events. Check out your city’s website to review a calendar of events.

Free Recycling - Your city’s waste management program probably includes recycling. While they may pick up your paper and plastics for free on a weekly basis, they could also offer free recycling events for more specialized items like paint, light bulbs and electronics.

Free Movies - Head to your local library to check out your city’s selection of free movies. Instead of paying to rent them, just get them for free.

Free Classes - Perhaps your city also offers free classes. These could range from a lecture series on personal finance to free quilting classes at the library. Check with your city’s parks and recreation department as well for a list of free classes.

Free Workshops - There is a lot of information that your city leaders want you to know. Sometimes they release this information in the form of free workshops. You may learn tips on water conservation or find out how to help your child succeed in school.

Free Transportation or Parking - Some cities offer free transportation or free parking in certain zones. They do this not only to help residents, but to also help small businesses. Offering free transportation and free parking encourages visitors to head to a certain part of town.

Free Historical Sites - Your city is probably known for something. And that claim to fame may include a historical site. Be a tourist in your own town and check out all of the free historical sites. Who knows—you might learn something new.

Free Nature Trails and Parks - Your tax dollars are probably already funding improvements like nature trails and parks. So why not use them? Visit a public Frisbee golf course or go for an afternoon hike.

Free Small Business Help - If you’re a small business owner, or you’re thinking of starting one, check out the free resources your city offers. You’ll most likely find free help for writing a business plan, obtaining your business license and even securing business funding. Starting a small business can be an expensive process, so take advantage of all the free help you can find in your city.

By Alison Storm

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