NOTICE 4/5/2024 @ 7:30am: North Kent Waste & Recycling Center is in the final stretch of its expansion construction. Our recycling drop-off stations at this site have been temporarily moved — click here for the details. Stay tuned here on our website or our social media for updates!

A peek into the future of Education for Kent County DPW

May 25, 2023

We know that achieving our goal of 90% waste diversion by 2030 can only be done with a community effort. This is why we are hoping to expand the type of learning opportunities we offer in the future. Here are some of the ideas we’ve been working on. 

Community Experts:

Have you ever seen someone throw something away that you knew could have been easily reused or recycled? Much of the time this is because people aren’t sure what can be done with certain materials. We feel that if we develop champions who can share their expertise to neighbors, communities, or organizations then more people will be informed about how to best handle their waste. We soon hope to provide courses for those who want to “up their game” when it comes to sustainability and become leaders in their community. When more have the tools and information on how waste and recycling works in Kent County then they are better equipped to help others close to them make more informed decisions. If you’ve ever wanted to help your community or organization become more environmentally friendly, be on the lookout for this opportunity in the near future!

Video Tours:

Oftentimes, educators want to teach their students how waste and recycling is managed but can’t make it out to one of our facilities for a field trip. To help with this, we are hoping to develop video tours of each of our three facilities that educators can show in the classroom at a time that is convenient for them. Ultimately, we would also hope to include guiding and review questions to help with retention of the material as well as connections to content standards. If there are any experiences with the Department of Public Works that you think would be beneficial to expand on, drop us a line and let us know!

The Science of Trash:

How do optical scanners sort out just one type of plastic? What is an eddy current? Why do landfills smell? What is leachate? Will the AI robots at the recycling center take over the world?! Trash is fascinating but it can also lead to many interesting engineering and science questions to explore. The education team has a goal to offer lessons on the science of trash to help expand our understanding of why the topic of waste is so important and impactful to our lives. Topics could include recycling technology, energy generation, landfill engineering, leachate monitoring and treatment, and material design. Do you have any topics related to waste that you’d like to learn about? Let us know and maybe we can incorporate it into our resources.

Do you have additional ideas of education resources or programs you wish to see KCDPW offer? Please reach out to us with your suggestion at recycle@kentcountymi.gov

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