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!

Beyond the Bin: How You Can Help Manage Trash – WOODTV 8

May 1, 2024

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kent County Department of Public Works has its hands full with the county’s trash, but there are ways we can help.

The department not only helps educate residents about how to properly dispose of trash, but it is also the agency responsible for disposal for the whole county. That’s nearly 660,000 individuals and their trash. It’s a tall task for one organization but it can be assisted through residents’ actions.

“What can be very helpful … is for them to look at, ‘What kind of waste am I producing and where can I make a little bit of a dent in (it)?’ so that they don’t get overwhelmed,” Micah Herrboldt, a waste reduction educator with DPW, said. “But also they see, ‘Hey, there’s a lot of places I can take this particular material that I’m producing a lot of and I know it’s going to go to a place that it’s going to get plugged into that circular economy rather than just put it in a hole in the ground.’” Beyond the Bin: What actually belongs in your recycling bins

You don’t need to make a massive change all at once. It can be baby steps like recycling or composting.

“We just need folks to kind of get it to the right bin so that we can do the right thing with it,” Katelyn Kikstra, a waste reduction educator with DPW said. “Stuff’s not going to get recycled or composted if it doesn’t make it to the right bin to begin with.”

Above all else, DPW wants residents to know what they are doing when it comes to putting trash in the right receptacle. It encourages waste literacy: Knowing what goes in which bin and being able to advise others goes a long way.

“When people feel that they’re more informed, they feel that empowerment and then they feel like they truly do have a way to make a difference and some of the things that feel kind of dark sometimes in our world,” Herrboldt said. Beyond the Bin: What to do with your old batteries, technology

You can begin helping DPW by learning more about the best ways to throw away your trash. All of that information can be found on the organization’s revamped website.

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