Grand Rapids, MI – During its October 6 meeting, the Kent County Board of Public Works approved no changes to disposal fees at all Kent County Department of Public Works (DPW) facilities for the coming year. The disposal fees, or “tipping fees”, apply to all waste haulers delivering to the Recycling and Education Center, Waste-to-Energy, South Kent Landfill and North Kent Transfer Station. Residential recycling drop-off remains free for all Kent County residents.
“The Kent County Department of Public Works has worked strategically to keeps costs low, including cutting expenses and maximizing revenues,” said Dar Baas, director of the Kent County DPW. “After a couple years of increasing our disposal fees to compensate for lower recycling commodity prices, capital improvements at the Waste-to-Energy facility, and the general increase in costs to run our facilities, we are able to keep our rates where they are and still provide the services our community expects.”
Tipping fees are paid by the ton by any waste hauler who delivers material to a Kent County DPW facility. The rate per ton at South Kent Landfill and North Kent Transfer Station will remain $46.10 per ton for general refuse in 2023. The Waste-to-Energy facility will remain at $74 per ton and the fee for haulers delivering recycling to the Recycling and Education Center will remain at $70 per ton for Kent County and $75 per ton for non-Kent County loads. All solid waste disposal rates are available on the Kent County DPW website at www.reimaginetrash.org.
The Kent County DPW also charges a surcharge of $1.68 per ton for landfill and Waste-to-Energy waste which goes to fund the monitoring and treatment of closed landfills in Kent County. Recently, the surcharge helped to fund onsite PFAS treatment equipment at the closed North Kent Landfill.
“The Board of Public Works is committed to evaluating and making decisions on disposal fees that keep our facilities and services running today and into the future,” said Emily Breve, chair of the Kent County Board of Public Works. “We believe keeping the tipping fees the same for next year provides consistency and stability for waste haulers, and the customers they serve, who are constantly adjust to increases in fuel costs and staffing.”
In the coming year the Kent County DPW plans to seek approval for the first phase of the Sustainable Business Park, which includes a mixed waste processor that will be able to divert up to 60 percent of municipal solid waste currently disposed of in a landfill. If approved, the mixed waste processor, Kent County BioEnergy Facility LLC, could be up and running by 2026. The South Kent Landfill is projected to reach capacity and close in 2029, prompting the need to find a solution for diverting waste or constructing a new landfill. Kent County DPW is working toward a more integrated countywide waste solution which may lead to future changes in tipping fees.