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Auto show exhibitor Padnos recycles old parts into new for a greener Michigan

Automotive Metal parts at Padnos
Automotive Metal parts at Padnos

Padnos is the state’s largest industrial recycler.

In 2022, the Michigan state legislature passed an eight-bill package to reform the state’s waste system, diverting recyclable materials away from landfills in the hopes of increasing recycling rates from 19 to 30 percent by 2029.

Padnos is the state’s largest industrial recycler. Principal Sustainability Manager Kari Bliss says recycling has come a long way over the past 75 years. Whereas before, an old car would be abandoned in a field or a landfill…

“Today we are able to recover over 98 percent of the metals in cars and often that material is reutilized right back into the automotive supply chain.”

And it’s not just cars that are being recycled. When the James De Young Power Plant in Holland, Michigan, was demolished in August of last year, scrap steel from the building itself was recycled by Padnos. That steel can now be found in high-performance aftermarket brakes for motor vehicles.

Padnos says that while most cars made in Michigan are produced on the east side of the state, those cars get recycled on the west side, and those new cars can no longer be made without recycled material from the old cars.

Bliss says Padnos will continue to work with legislators to help the state reach its recycling goals by the end of the decade.

“Especially here in West Michigan to help the different counties update their material management plan.”

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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