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Muskegon Innovation Hub Innovator of the Year

Kendra Stanley-Mills
Muskegon Innovation Hub Website
Nick Carlson

By posing a solution to both plastic waste and stormwater management, Nick Carlson took home the Lakeshore Innovator Award last week.

Each year, Grand Valley State University’s Muskegon Innovation Hub highlights problem-solvers who ignite ideas along the lakeshore.

This year’s winner, Goodwill’s West Michigan Business Development Director Nick Carlson, says that his idea will help the nonprofit recycle millions pounds of unused plastic donations per year.

“What we’ve been able to do is partner with a company called Hydro blocks based out of Pennsylvania, where we will be building plant here in Muskegon that will be able to take the leftover plastics that were unable to sell, and once we build this plant we’ll be able to use those plastics to make hydroblox, which are storm water management and drainage systems”

Not only will this plan keep plastic out of landfills: Carlson says, it will create a statewide collaborative effort that will reinvest money into local communities.

“What our vision is, is that we’ll be able to take these materials that are otherwise discarded, and use our existing supply chains to get that stuff out of landfills and made into new products that we can then sell at a value which those funds can then be reinvested into local communities.”

Carlson says that operations will begin by the end of the year.

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