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Kent County won’t increase trash, recycling drop-off fees next year

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Kent County won’t increase its rubbish and recycling assortment fees next year.

The announcement that rates of interest will stay unchanged within the new year comes after the county imposed double-digit proportion will increase in its dumping fees earlier this year, which was met with opposition from quite a few the area’s mayors.

Dar Baas, director of the Kent County Department of Public Works, mentioned his division has been working to maintain prices down, together with reducing spending and maximizing income.

“Having increased our disposal fees for a couple of years to offset lower recycled feedstock prices, capital improvements at the Waste-to-Energy facility, and the general increase in the cost of running our facilities, we’re able to keep our fees where they are while still providing the services that our community expects,” said Baas.

The “tip fees” that will remain in place next year are:

  • $74 per ton at a waste-to-energy facility
  • $70 per ton for Kent County and $75 per ton for loads outside of Kent County at the Recycling and Education Center
  • $46.10 per tonne at South Kent Landfill and North Kent Transfer Station

Gratuities are the price per tonne of municipal waste and recyclable materials deposited at the Waste-to-Energy Facility, Recycling and Education Center, and county landfills.

Nearly all residential and commercial kerbside and dumpster residential and commercial waste generated in the cities of Grand Rapids, Wyoming, East Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Grandville and Walker ends up at the county’s Waste-to-Energy facility. Grand Rapids and other carriers also use the recycling center.

“The Board of Public Works strives to judge disposal fees and make choices that preserve our amenities and companies operating in the present day and sooner or later,” said Emily Breve, chair of the Kent County Board of Public Works and vice chair of the Kent County Commission Council .

“We imagine sustaining tipping charges for next year will present consistency and stability for waste haulers and the shoppers they serve, who should frequently adapt to rising gas prices and labor prices.”

The increase in the recycling rate earlier this year should bring the district closer to covering the costs of processing recyclables. Prices for recycled raw materials fell around 2017 when China stopped importing recyclables from western countries.

As for increasing tips for waste-to-energy plants, DPW officials previously said the rate hike would fund the replacement of some original equipment and other upgrades needed to keep the plant operational over its 50-year lifespan keep. The facility is a little over 30 years old.

Looking ahead, Kent County’s DPW plans to apply for permit next year for the first phase of the Sustainable Business Park, which will include a mixed-waste processor that county officials say will be able to process up to 60 % of municipal waste currently disposed of is diverted to landfill.

Related: According to a study, 75 percent of Kent County’s trash could be recycled

If approved, the mixed waste processor could go into operation in 2026.

DPW officials say the South Kent landfill is expected to reach capacity and close in 2029.

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