Recycling center reopens after upgrades

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The Kent County Recycling & Education Center at 977 Wealthy St. SW is reopening Monday, March 16 following scheduled equipment upgrades. Courtesy Kent County Department of Public Works

A recycling center in Kent County reopened after undergoing upgrades.

The Kent County Recycling & Education Center at 977 Wealthy St. SW is reopening Monday, March 16 following scheduled equipment upgrades. The recycling drop-off locations in Grand Rapids and Rockford also are reopening March 16.

Upgrades have been completed as originally scheduled, and the equipment has successfully been tested. During the upgrades, the facility was closed and unable to accept recyclable materials from both curbside and drop-off locations.

“There were 11 different contractors on-site over the last three weeks doing everything from changing conveyor belts and pulleys to installing 10-ton pieces of equipment,” said Nic VanderVinne, resource recovery and recycling manager for the Kent County Department of Public Works.

“All of the work went very smoothly, and we expect to see improvements to the quality of the recyclables that are sent to market, as well as a significant reduction in downtime due to maintenance.”

The Kent County Recycling & Education Center is approaching its 10th year of single-stream recycling. Over the past decade, the center has undergone periodic maintenance and upgrades to adapt to changes in community recycling habits and packaging trends.

In 2017, Kent County added equipment to accept paper cartons and improve automation.

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