PRESS RELEASE: Kent County Recycling and Education Center temporarily closed due to structural damage

March 20, 2023

Grand Rapids, MI – The Kent County Recycling and Education Center (REC), located at 977 Wealthy St. SW, is temporarily closed after an incident caused structural damage to the building on Monday afternoon. The damage occurred when bales of cardboard recycling built up and pushed through the building’s sidewall, damaging the exterior wall and a roof support beam. No one was injured and the incident is under administrative review to further understand the cause.

The Kent County Department of Public Works called structural engineers to the site Monday evening to assess the extent of the damage and put a plan in place for repairs. All tours and education programming at the REC are postponed indefinitely.

“The health and safety of our employees and customers is our number one priority,” said Dar Baas, director of the Kent County Department of Public Works. “We’re gathering a full assessment of the damage and will only reopen once repairs are made, and we know it’s safe for workers and visitors to enter.”

Kent County’s REC serves as the primary materials recovery facility for residential recyclables generated throughout West Michigan. All incoming material will be diverted to the County’s Waste-to-Energy facility until the REC is fully operational.

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