Kent County DPW opens new administration building

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Courtesy Kent County Department of Public Works

The construction of Kent County Department of Public Works’ (DPW) new $3.5 million administration building is complete.

The department said Thursday, Jan 6., the new Wealthy Street Recycling and Administration Center at 1045 Wealthy St. SW in Grand Rapids now is open.

The 11,780-square-foot property includes a canopy and a 10,380-square-foot enclosed building adjacent to the Recycle and Education Facility.

The Wealthy Street Recycling and Administration Center was built to relocate Kent County DPW administrative staff from the Kent County Road Commission Central Complex at 1500 Scribner Ave. NW in Grand Rapids. The property was sold in 2021.

The administration center includes 17 offices and workspaces for staff members who focus on finance, communications, environmental compliance, solid waste and recycling operations, and safety.

“The new administration center brings our team together and makes it easier for the community to connect with our department and services,” said Dar Baas, director of the Kent County DPW. “The facilities are designed to foster collaboration and fit in with the surrounding neighborhood.”

About half of the facility will be used as a service center for Kent County residents. It will include SafeChem drop-off station, SafeChem swap shop and an electronics recycling service.

Residents can drop off household waste such as cleaners, garden or garage products at the SafeChem drop-off station, which is located on the eastern portion of the building with a covered canopy for inclement weather. The SafeChem swap shop is where products in good condition can be offered at no cost.

The landscaping and fencing on the property are designed to help clearly define the property and create both a visual and noise buffer for the surrounding neighborhood. The loading dock is strategically located to keep trucks or customer traffic away from the neighborhood.

“The SafeChem drop-off station and swap shop are a real asset for our community,” Baas said. “Not only do they keep hazardous materials out of area landfills and the environment, they also provide people free products to avoid them being discarded in the first place.”

The timeline for the reopening of the residential recycling drop-off station, which has been closed during construction, will be announced soon on reimaginetrash.org.

Granger Construction served as the general contractor for the construction of the administration building. The project was financed by DPW Capital Improvement Plan funds set aside for approximately 10 years.

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