$4 million appropriation in the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy budget to support infrastructure improvements

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), Liesl Eichler Clark, toured the South Kent Landfill and future site of the Sustainable Business Park with representatives from Kent County Department of Public Works, Allegan County and Dorr Township on Friday, Oct. 15. EGLE recently included a $4 million appropriation in the 2022 state budget to support necessary infrastructure improvements at the site.

“Kent County’s Sustainable Business Park is an important investment in sustainable materials management and growing a vibrant circular economy. This initiative puts Michiganders to work making new products from the materials residents take to their curb each week,” Clark said. “This site visit is a chance to get a first-hand look at what’s planned with State of Michigan support for the project, and learn about the park’s potential to increase recycling, conserve natural resources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

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 to 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 site visit by EGLE allowed us the opportunity to show how this project is moving us closer to our landfill diversion goals in Kent County,” said Dar Baas, director of the Kent County Department of Public Works. “The state funding will lay the foundation for additional private investment in the entire park.”
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.

For more information on the Sustainable Business Park, visit www.reimaginetrash.org/SBP