FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020
Contact: Steve Faber, Byrum & Fisk Communications, (616) 821-8006

Innovative sustainable business leaders submit proposals to help achieve landfill diversion goals 

Kent County receives nine responses to RFP for anchor tenant at Sustainable Business Park 

Grand Rapids, MI – The Kent County Department of Public Works today announced it has received nine responses to a Request for Proposals (RFP) issued in June for an anchor tenant at the future Sustainable Business Park, which is planned for 250 acres adjacent to the South Kent Landfill in Byron Center, Michigan.

The RFP process is the next step in implementing the Sustainable Business Park Master Plan, which was approved in the fall of 2018, and solidifying its progress toward reclaiming or converting a significant portion of the 2.1 million cubic yards of waste landfilled by residents and businesses in Kent County each year.

“The RFP process was designed to attract companies that have demonstrated they can handle this volume of waste and be part of a public-private partnership with the Kent County Department of Public Works to assist in our goal of diverting 90% of trash from the South Kent Landfill by 2030,” said Dar Baas, director of the Kent County Board of Public Works. “Proposals came in from companies across the country and globe, and we are excited to begin reviewing them and finding a partner to achieve our landfill diversion goal.”

The objective of the RFP process was to identify innovative companies with proven track records who use technology to divert and process waste which is currently sent to landfills in West Michigan with the goal of selecting one company that could occupy the anchor tenant role. The anchor tenant would have experience with mechanically sorting materials from the mixture of waste currently delivered to landfills, including residential, commercial, and industrial solid waste. Following the mechanical separation process, the sorted plastic, wood, organic and other materials will be further processed into new products or feedstocks, such as engineered fuel, compost, building materials, aggregates, and other usable materials. This is not only better for the environment than landfilling, but it will also spur additional economic development activity and create more jobs.

The next step in the process will be to review and evaluate each proposal. The DPW will be working closely with its advisory team including The Right Place Inc., Gershman, Bricker & Bratton, Inc. (GBB), Fishbeck and Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications on reviewing and evaluating proposals. The review team, along with a stakeholder review committee appointed by Kent County DPW, will begin evaluating proposals based on a set of criteria, including cost, technology maturity, capabilities, diversion rates and environmental benefits. Finalists will be determined in late 2020 with a final recommendation being presented to the Board of Public Works and Board of Commissioners in spring, 2021.

Kent County Department of Public Works aims to make the Sustainable Business Park a collaborative environment and encouraged team responses to the RFP by which an anchor facility could be supported by smaller secondary and tertiary tenants.

The RFP specified that the anchor tenant facility will be designed, built, permitted, operated and maintained by the company. Kent County will be a partner in ensuring that there is adequate infrastructure, material available to process, and handle residuals that cannot be processed. RFP respondents were required to demonstrate that they have the capacity to convert at least 50% of the inbound waste materials.

For more information about the innovative Kent County Sustainable Business Park visit www.reimaginetrash.org.

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