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!

DPW relaunches e-newsletter with fresh, new look

March 8, 2023

A new, refreshed e-newsletter hit inboxes this month. The newsletter included board of public works updates, tips on disposal and recycling, facility updates, and answers to the difficult questions the DPW receives about hard to dispose of materials. The DPW aims to send out this general newsletter every other month.

If you’d like the newsletter delivered to your inbox, please subscribe.


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Board of Public Works Updates

Welcome New Members

The seven-member Board of Public Works welcomes two new board members – Kent County Commissioner Kris Pachla and Kent County Commissioner Michelle McCloud – replacing outgoing commissioners David Bulkowski and Phil Skaggs.

Images of Kent County Commissioner Kris Pachla and Kent County Commissioner Michelle McCloud

Approval of Waste Diversion Technology


The Board of Public Works approved moving forward with a metals recovery project at the Waste-to-Energy facility.

Advanced Recycling Technologies will partner with the DPW to update the ferrous metals recovery equipment and implement new technology to recover small, non-ferrous metals from combustion ash.

The board also approved moving forward with construction of the final landfill cell at the South Kent Landfill. This cell occupies the last available land at the landfill and should have enough capacity until 2030. South Kent Landfill is the last active landfill in Kent County, and this cell could represent the last landfill cell built in the county if other waste diversion strategies and projects are implemented with the community.


The Board of Public Works approved two State of MI Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Recycling Infrastructure Grants.

One grant will partially fund a cardboard baler at North Kent Transfer Station to improve cardboard recycling in northern Kent County. The other grant will help fund three recycling robots to improve quality, efficiency and safety at the Recycling and Education Center.

New technology has also been recently installed at the Recycling and Education Center to mechanically sort aluminum, which was previously sorted by hand.

Stay up to date with the Board of Public Works

View Meeting Agendas and Minutes

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DPW Facility Updates

Preliminary design for Kent County Bioenergy Facility nearly complete

In early 2022, the Board of Public Works approved a project development agreement (PDA) with Kent County Bioenergy Facility to serve as the “anchor tenant” at the future Sustainable Business Park on property adjacent to South Kent Landfill that was initially purchased for landfill expansion. With the preliminary design for the facility nearly complete, a Request for Qualifications has been posted to get a detailed estimate to construct this part of the project which would be able to process 400,000 tons per year of Municipal Solid Waste and 175,000 tons per year of Source Separated Organics to produce renewable natural gas and a fertilizer.

It’s going to be a busy year ahead for the Sustainable Business Park project with several key decisions on the horizon. Thank you to the many stakeholders that have continued to provide input and feedback so the DPW and its partners can deliver a project that can work for West Michigan.

Vicinity Energy takes over operation of Waste-to-Energy Facility

On Feb. 2, Vicinity and Kent County DPW entered into a 10-year service agreement  that ensures the Waste-to-Energy facility will operate safely and efficiently. The Waste-to-Energy Facility is currently undergoing a $40 million refurbishment that will see some original equipment replaced and other upgrades necessary to keep the facility operational through its 50-year lifespan.

Stay up to date with all of our facilities

Learn More

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Plan Your Spring Cleaning!

Time to clean up? Cords & String Lights, Chemicals, Yard Waste, Scrap Wood Old Fencing, Scrap Metal, Tires

What to do with all that stuff!?

As the days get longer, many of us are cleaning out garages, sheds and yards. The Kent County Department of Public Works can help you safely dispose of what you no longer need. Visit our website for locations and hours for disposal.

  • Electronics and old string lights can be taken to our North Kent Recycling and Waste Center, South Kent Recycling and Waste Center, and Wealthy Street Administration & SafeChem Drop off.
  • Leftover home & garden chemicals, garage & automotive materials and ice melt can be taken to any of our five SafeChem drop-off sites during designated hours. If you are dropping off at our Wealthy Street location, check out our SafeChem Swap Shop.
  • Scrap metal can be taken to our North and South Kent Recycling and Waste Centers or to any of the scrap metal recycling businesses in the county.
  • Yard waste should not be disposed of with general refuse and trash. There are many options depending on where you live or what types of material you have.
  • Tires can be disposed of at our North and South Kent Recycling and Waste Centers for a fee.

Visit our website for a complete list of how to recycle or properly dispose of all common household items.

Recycling and Waste Directory

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Talking Trash

Our Waste Reduction Educators will be out talking trash in the community—come say hi!

Waste & Sustainability-Related Community Events:

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Answering your Hard Hitters

Question: How do I recycle or dispose of a toilet?

Answer: While Kent County DPW does not have recycling capabilities for old toilets, you can recycle your old ceramic or porcelain toilet/sink at Full Circle Recycle: Recycling Aggregates. It’s best to remove all plastic, rubber, and metal parts.

Do you have more questions about proper product disposal? View our full directory

Question: “I recently heard in the news that most plastics aren’t recycled and instead go to the landfill. Is this true?”

Answer: Recycling is a hyper-local effort, and the Kent County Recycling Center works hard to ensure your recycling efforts are followed through. Of all the recyclables that are delivered to our recycling center, 90% of recyclables are sorted, baled and sent to downstream processors to be further processed (shredded, cleaned, pelletized, melted, pulped, etc.) and made into raw feedstock or materials for manufacturers.

Read the complete breakdown of how we process all recyclables that enter our facility.

We are always ready to talk more about plastics recycling

We encourage people to see first-hand how we process recyclables and what gets sent to downstream processors.

Facility Tours and Hours

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DPW in the News

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