Public recycling program in Rockford becomes permanent after successful pilot – Fox17

October 4, 2022

Public recycling program in Rockford becomes permanent after successful pilot

The Separate Out Recycling & Trash (SORT) program is aimed at drastically reducing the amount of waste Kent County sends to landfills

ROCKFORD, Mich. — The City of Rockford has decided to permanently keep a program that installed educational recycling and trash bins throughout the downtown area.

The Separate Out Recycling & Trash (SORT) program began as a collaborative pilot project between the Kent County Department of Public Works and the City of Rockford.

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Initially, the bins were made to be temporary and placed throughout Rockford’s outdoor refreshment area that was established during the pandemic.

The city will now install permanent bins in all of their parks and municipal buildings.

At each location there are two bins— one for trash and the other for recycling. There is educational information on the outside of each bin, describing with pictures what should go in each.

“For a lot of folks, recycling is not so easy. They really struggle with what to put into the trash versus recycling,” said Katelyn Kikstra, Waste Reduction Educator with the Kent County Department of Public Works.

“Right now, we’re only at a 25% participation rate for recycling.”

She says that about 75% of our landfills simply wouldn’t exist if everyone was recycling and composting.

“Hopefully, those habits that folks are developing downtown, tossing things into recycling versus trash, become second nature and hopefully a habit that they can take home with them,” Kikstra said.

Anyone interested in utilizing these SORT bins is encouraged to submit a request, or reach out, to the folks at the department of public works.

They hope to expand the program to other areas using this pilot program as a blueprint.

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