The Kent County Department of Public Works has set a bold goal to divert 90% of Kent County-generated trash that goes to landfills by 2030. Building a Sustainable Business Park is an essential part of reaching that goal. Instead of using the 250 acres for future landfill, we can develop a Sustainable Business Park that
- lays the critical infrastructure to support a regional circular economy
- leverage private sector development
- attract businesses to localize the entire recycling or conversion process
- preserve open space
- expand research
- generate and use renewable energy
- begin to close the loop in West Michigan
The sustainable business park will attract companies that specialize in reclaiming or converting waste materials that might otherwise be dumped into the landfill into usable materials, such as fuel pellets, plastic flake, compost and more. There are opportunities for complementary businesses, startups and entrepreneurs to tap into these reclaimed or converted materials and transform them into new products, including clothing, automotive components or animal feed.
The park has tremendous potential for preserving open space, creating jobs, research, generating renewable energy and moving us closer to our goal of reducing landfill waste, which will help conserve natural resources and protect the quality of our water.
The Kent County Department of Public Works is bringing together national and local experts to create a plan for a sustainable business park to make West Michigan a leader in waste recovery.
Kent County DPW is engaging local stakeholders, gathering data and prioritizing project goals to determine the feasibility of a Sustainable Business Park on 250 acres of land adjacent to the landfill. The Master Plan has been approved (see below) and will allow DPW staff to refine what we learned about the necessary improvements, costs, funding sources and a work toward an implementation schedule.
Stakeholder Review Committee
Community members representing a variety of perspectives are working closely with Kent County staff and contractors to provide feedback on the proposed technologies and processes included in the Master Plan.
Dick VanderMolen – Chair
Bill Stough, Representing Manufacturers
John VanTholen, Representing Waste Haulers
Rick Chapla, Representing Economic Development interests
Katie Venechuk, Representing State Government
Kari Bliss, Representing Local Business
Bill Wood, Representing Environmental Interests
Steve Achram, Representing Building and Construction industry
Doug LaFave, Municipal Representative (Kent County)
Jeff Miling, municipal representative (Allegan County)
As part of the plan, the DPW is actively working with the business community to attract potential tenants and complementary technologies to minimize the gap between planning and implementation.
If you are interested in being a tenant of the Sustainable Business Park, please let us know by filling out the contact form below.
The FINAL Sustainable Business Park Master Plan was presented to the Kent County Board of Public Works on October 4, 2018 during a regularly scheduled board meeting. The BPW approved the Sustainable Business Park (SBP) Master PLan and authorized the Director to form a business development team to advance proposals for development of the SBP.
- Kent County Sustainable Business Park Master Plan
- Executive Summary of Sustainable Business Park Master Plan
- Appendices A-M, Kent County Sustainable Business Park Master Plan
The DRAFT Sustainable Business Park Master Plan was presented to the Kent County Board of Public Works on August 2, 2018 during a regularly scheduled board meeting.
- DRAFT Sustainable Business Park Master Plan
- DRAFT Sustainable Business Park Master Plan appendices A-M
- Presentation to Board of Public Works (8/2/18)
On November 27, 2018, Kent County presented an overview of the recommendations to a group of interested stakeholders as a conclusion to the master planning phase of the Sustainable Business Park project.
- Presentation to Stakeholders – November 27, 2018
- list of questions asked during Nov. 27 meeting (coming soon)
If you are interested in being considered as a tenant of the Sustainable Business Park or if you have potential inputs or are interested in using potential outputs from the Park, please provide your contact information in the Contact Form below.
2017/18 Planning Timeline
- September 2017 Master Plan Kickoff
- November 2017 Stakeholder Meetings
- March 2018 Release Request for Information (RFI)
- May through July 2018 RFI Review & Master Plan Development
- October 2018 Master Plan Approval Process
- November 2018 Stakeholder Meeting
- Winter 2018/19 Business Development Team Kickoff
- EPA Sustainable Materials Management
- EPA Sustainable Materials Management Strategic Plan
- US Chamber of Commerce Foundation – Circular Economy and Sustainability
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation – What is the Circular Economy?
- Kent County, Michigan’s Landfill Reduction Plan
- Michigan MSW Characterization and Valuation 2016
- Review of Opportunities for Zero Waste to Landfill for Industries
- Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Annual Reports of Solid Waste Landfilled in Michigan
Master Planning Reference Material
- Kent County DPW discusses details of the Sustainable Business Park Master Plan (WKTV In Focus)
- Kent DPW approves $500M trash reuse project (Grand Rapids Business Journal)
- County board should be encouraged to find agreement on committing to sustainable business park instead of landfills (Grand Rapids Business Journal Editorial)
- Kent trash reuse project worth $500M (Grand Rapids Business Journal)
- 23 respond to Kent County's call for 'sustainable' garbage proposals (MLive)
- Firms probe Kent County on request for garbage-fueled innovations (MLive)
- Kent County releases RFI for Sustainable Business Park (MiBiz)
- Turning trash into money is going to take a community effort (Rapid Growth Media)
- County eyes 90 percent waste reduction (Grand Rapids Business Journal)
- West Michigan’s construction industry grapples with diverting waste from landfills (MiBiz)
- KCDPW: Sustainable Business Park at Byron Center Landfill Could Be 'Long Term Solution' (WGVU)
- Sustainable Business Park Planned in Shadow of Kent County Landfill (Reclamation Administration)
- Kent County Public Works Staff to Meet with Community About Plan to Reduce Waste (Michigan Radio)
- Sustainable Business Park Planned in Shadow of Kent County Landfill (MLive)
- GBB to Develop Master Plan for Kent County, Mich’s Resource Park