Reimagine Trash… as a resource, as a feedstock, as an opportunity.


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Help reduce landfilled waste 20% by 2020 and 90% by 2030.

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Imagine wood pallets becoming wood chips.


Imagine you could take wood pallets and make wood chips.

Imagine used boxes being recycled into a nice new boxes.


Imagine used boxes being recycled into nice new boxes.

Imagine food scraps nourshing your garden.

Food Scraps

Imagine you could use food scraps to nourish your garden.

Imagine spent brewing hops powering homes.


Imagine spent brewing hops powering homes.


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

Solid Waste Composition

Total Value of West Michigan MSW

Material Disposed

Solid Waste Composition

Source: West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum
2016 Michigan MSW Valuation Study.


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

Project Overview

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.

Planning Process

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.

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

  1. November 2017 Kickoff
  2. November 2017 Stakeholder Meetings
  3. December 2017 – February 2018 Plan Evaluation and Public Review
  4. July 2018 Approval Process


Contact Form

Planning Partners

Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc.
Stern Brothers & Co.
Stern Brothers & Co.