Reimagine Trash… as a resource, as a feedstock, as an opportunity.
Imagine you could take wood pallets and make wood chips.
Imagine used boxes being recycled into nice new boxes.
Imagine you could use food scraps to nourish your garden.
Imagine spent brewing hops powering homes.
IMAGINE THE POTENTIAL
West Michigan disposes of material totaling $56 million in potential economic value in landfills and through waste-to-energy. These materials include corrugated cardboard, food scraps & other organic material, and construction & demolition waste. This material has potential employment value of 370 jobs.
West Michigan Solid Waste Composition
Mean % By Weight
Total Value of West Michigan MSW
Source: West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum
2016 Michigan MSW Valuation Study. wmsbf.org/msw.
READ THE FULL REPORT
Economic Impact Potential and Characterization
of Municipal Solid Waste in West Michigan
West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and Grand Valley State University worked with Michigan recyclers and waste companies to analyze the composition of municipal solid waste currently landfilled and incinerated in West Michigan and Michigan, and the economic value of this material.
Sustainable Business Park
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.
Building a sustainable business park will help our community significantly reduce trash buried in landfills and attract investment and jobs from companies that can convert waste into usable products.
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.
Instead of expanding the Byron Center landfill, Kent County DPW is engaging local stakeholders and gathering data over the next several months to study the feasibility of a sustainable business park on 200 acres of land adjacent to the landfill. The plan will look at the necessary improvements, costs, funding sources and a proposed 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.
2017/18 Planning Timeline
- September 2017 Kickoff
- November 2017 Stakeholder Meetings
- March 2018 Release Request for Information (RFI)
- May through July 2018 RFI Review & Master Plan Development
- Late Summer 2018 Approval Process begins
- 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
- 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