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In early March, city trucks delivered a surprise to neighbors in Rosedale: a sizable pile of something brown, lumpy, and smelly on an abandoned property on the 1600 block of Kramer Street NE. “It was a mountaintop,” says neighbor Gladys Mack, who concluded that the load was manure. Actually, the mound consisted of something that shares manure’s core physical properties—wet and rotted wood chips. Department of Public Works spokesperson Mary Myers estimates that the agency has “somewhere in the neighborhood of thousands of cubic yards” of the stuff, the ground-up remains of limbs felled by Hurricane Isabel. Kramer Street’s deposit was a staging area for filling tree boxes or dumping on vacant lots to kill weeds. “It’s pretty raw,” Myers says of the 2-inch chunks. “It’s still a tad larger than what most people want to throw on their gardens.” By the week’s end, the mountain of mulch was gone, but the rotting smell, residents say, persisted. —Mike DeBonis