Have you ever wondered what’s in all the trash bags that come to disposal facilities like this one? We have, and so have our state leaders who are attempting to increase Michigan’s recycling rate.

The group that will be at Kent County’s South Kent Landfill, Waste to Energy Facility and North Kent Transfer Station in the coming weeks is sorting through a sample of trash as part of the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum’s Municipal Solid Waste Characterization and Valuation Study (The Trash Research Project). They’re separating and weighing material according to type. This will give us the data necessary to determine:
The value of that potentially-recyclable material
Employment opportunities that could come from recycling it
Other potential opportunities that could come from recycling it before it gets to a disposal site like this one

This is from the sort at South Kent Landfill on June 4. Note the trimmings from some shrubs in the pile – did you know that yard waste is banned from landfills?

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Please check back later this month to see Kent County’s Waste to Energy and North Kent Transfer Station results and later this summer to see the results of the entire project!