Kent County Recycling Facility Reopens After Upgrades Installed

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Contributor
Good news for residents of Grand Rapids! The Kent County Recycling Facility is now open after a few weeks of closure. 
 
According to MLive, the plant's closure began on November 28, 2017. The temporary closure was done to install new equipment into the plant. This new equipment included a machine that would sort paper cartons and corrugated cardboard. The equipment was brought in to help keep up with the community's growing recycling needs. Everything that was done to the plan cost a grand total of $1.5 million.
 
Nic VanderVinne, Resource Recovery and Recycling Manager, spoke with M Live about the upgrades.
 
"All the equipment was installed as expected and we've tested it to make sure everything is working properly so we're looking forward to seeing the haulers deliver recyclables to us on Monday morning," VanderVinne said. "Adding cartons to the recycling stream will address a type of packaging that is growing in popularity but was previously not recyclable in West Michigan."
 
The outage of the plant was expected to last until December 19, right before the holidays. However, county officials said the facility was able to begin processing recyclables a day before the re-opening. We're all familiar with the "3 Rs" that refer to reduce, reuse, and recycle. This hierarchy classifies waste management strategies according to their desirability in terms of waste minimization. Because residents are constantly coming up with new ways to recycle, the fact that the plant was able to start working a day before its scheduled opening was huge.
 
According to WZZM, the plant is now able to accept empty creamer containers, juice boxes, boxed water, and milk cartons -- all items the plant was unable to process before. The change applies to all area residents and businesses. 
 
Wood TV says these changes will hopefully encourage more people to recycle. Since there are so many options for recycling within the plant now, there are more opportunities for people to utilize it. 
 
Due to past incidents at the plant including fires and explosions, officials urge those who want to recycle to understand how it all works. Make sure you're putting the appropriate items in the correct containers. Double check to make sure your items are able to be recycled as well. While studies say that 40% of consumers would share photos of interesting packaging on social media, that "interesting" packaging might not be the best fit for the plant. 
 
Of course, the newly refurbished plant can't recycle <em>everything</em>. For anyone looking to get rid of old propane tanks, do not bring them to the upgraded facility. Reach out to Kent County for information on the appropriate facilities. 

For full story, pick up a copy of the MONTH XX issue of The Allegan County News/The Union Enterprise/The Commercial Record or subscribe to the e-edition.

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