The Kent County Department of Public Works just announced the Kentwood recycling drop-off station will be closing in June. Officials say it’s become cost prohibitive and they are encouraging residents to explore curbside recycling options.
“We really do encourage residents to take ownership of their recycling just like they do their refuse disposal.”
Kent County Department of Public Works Director, Darwin Baas, says the Kentwood recycling drop-off station, located at the Kentwood Public Works Facility will close June 30th. He says it’s an unattended site that is costing the county money due to the high amount of contaminated items residents drop off.
“Everything from car parts, to Styrofoam, mattresses, furniture, motor oil. Roughly half of what we receive there are contaminated or unacceptable materials so it really drives the cost up. So that what was behind moving residents to curbside recycling when it is available.”
Baas says it costs about 3 times more to operate a drop off site versus curbside. He adds this facility, which opened 12 years ago, was meant as a stop gap measure.
“When we opened this 12 years ago, it was meant to provide a stop gap for those who didn’t have access to curbside service. It’s truly available.”
Baas says it will likely cost residents a few extra dollars and he realizes there are some that may be unhappy with the change. But they’re hoping the advance notice –about two months, will allow residents time to get another plan. And Baas adds there’s a bigger picture to consider.
“It allows you to participate in a larger effort for us to reduce what’s going to the landfill. We are striving to reduce by 90 percent what goes to the landfill over the next ten years. And that’s going to take a concerted effort by everyone to be very intentional by subscribing so we can make a difference county wide.”
The Kentwood Recycling Center closes June 30th. There are still two other recycling stations that will remain open.