Appropriation will support infrastructure development to avoid new landfill construction

State Senators Brinks and Nesbitt and Representatives Posthumus and Albert joined Kent County Commissioner Emily Brieve and Dorr Township Supervisor Jeff Miling on a tour of South Kent Landfill and Sustainable Business Park properties in August 2021.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A $4 million appropriation in the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) budget will support necessary infrastructure improvements for the future Sustainable Business Park in Kent and Allegan County. The Michigan Legislature approved a $69.9 billion fiscal year 2022 state budget last week.
The Sustainable Business Park, planned for 250 acres adjacent to the South Kent Landfill in Byron Center, Mich., will be built on land that was initially purchased by Kent County to create a new landfill. The state funding will go toward infrastructure improvements on the site such as utilities, roads and stormwater to prepare it for initial tenants. The first phase of infrastructure development is estimated to cost $19 million.
“The state investment in this important project will vastly reduce Kent County’s landfill usage and contribute to a circular economy, ,” said Dar Baas, director of the Kent County Department of Public Works. “Landfills are not the legacy anyone wants to leave for future generations and this investment is an acknowledgement that we’re on the right path toward a more sustainable future. We want to thank our elected leaders including state Reps. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, and Bryan Posthumus, R-Cannon Township, and state Sens. Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, and Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, for their support of this project and moving us closer to our landfill diversion goals.”

Approved in 2018, the Sustainable Business Park Master Plan lays out a vision for transitioning away from landfilling waste in favor of placing value on components of the waste as feedstock for new products or fuel sources. The Master Plan calls for an anchor tenant that will receive the mixed waste currently going to the landfill and separate it for secondary and tertiary tenants to utilize. The state funding will lay the foundation for additional private investment in the entire park.