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Kent County, Michigan Seeks Innovative Waste Conversion Project for its Sustainable Business Park

Request for Proposal issued internationally to help identify an anchor tenant at its Sustainable Business Park in West Michigan and to help the region meet its landfill diversion goals.

For more information, contact:
Jennifer Porter, GBB Vice President
jporter@gbbinc.com / (347) 979-4992

McLean, VA (June 10, 2020) – GBB is proud to announce that its client, the Kent County Department of Public Works (DPW), today issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an anchor tenant at the future Sustainable Business Park, which is planned for 250 acres adjacent to the South Kent Landfill in Byron Center, Michigan.

The RFP is the next step in implementing the Sustainable Business Park Master Plan, which was approved in the fall of 2018, and solidifying its progress toward reclaiming or converting a significant portion of the 2.1 million cubic yards of solid waste landfilled by residents and businesses in Kent County each year. DPW has been working closely with its advisory team including: Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. (GBB), The Right Place, Fishbeck, Sustainable Research Group (SRG), and Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications.

“We are seeking a company that has demonstrated they can handle this volume of waste and  be part of a public-private partnership with the Kent County Department of Public Works to assist in our goal of diverting 90% of trash from the South Kent Landfill by 2030,” said Emily Brieve, chair of the Kent County Board of Public Works. “We’ve issued the Request for Proposals and anticipate receiving responses from companies across the country and globe that have proven they can help us solve the problem of mounting volumes of trash. Landfills are not the legacy I want to leave for my children.”

The objective of the RFP is to identify companies with proven track records who use innovative technology to divert and process waste which is currently sent to landfills in Kent County. The desired company will have experience with mechanically sorting materials from the mixture of waste currently delivered to landfills, including residential, commercial, and industrial solid waste. Following the mechanical separation process, the sorted plastic, wood, organic and other materials will be further processed into new products or feedstocks, such as engineered fuel, compost, building materials, aggregates, and other usable materials. This is not only better for the environment than landfilling, but it will also spur additional economic development activity and create more jobs.

Kent County Department of Public Works aims to make the Sustainable Business Park a collaborative environment and encourages team responses by which an anchor facility could be supported by smaller secondary and tertiary tenants.

There will be a non-mandatory pre-submission conference on June 25, 2020 at 1pm EDT. Registration for the pre-submission conference is required; to register, send an email to purchasing@kentcountymi.gov by 5 pm EDT the day before the scheduled conference. Questions are due via email by July 22, 2020 at 5pm EDT and the deadline for responding to the RFP is 2pm EDT, September 9, 2020.

See the RFP for all submission details and qualifications requirements, which is available online via the Kent County’s Purchasing Department’s website.

Background:

Kent County DPW recently completed a site and infrastructure analysis and has projected $17.5 million of infrastructure improvements at the 250-acre property, such as utilities, roads, and preservation of open space. The implementation schedule is dependent on responses to the RFP and review and approval by the Kent County Board of Public Works and Board of Commissioners. Kent County looks forward to responses and collaborating with the company ultimately selected.

According to an annual report by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), Kent County had a 2% increase in the amount of waste buried in landfills over the past year. Kent County DPW processes over 1 billion pounds of waste each year and estimates 75% of that waste could be reused, recycled, or converted. Currently, only 6-8% of total waste is recycled.

The RFP specifies that the anchor tenant facility will be designed, built, permitted, operated, and maintained by the company. Kent County will be a partner in ensuring that there is adequate infrastructure, material available to process, and handle residuals that cannot be processed. RFP respondents must demonstrate that they have the capacity to convert at least 50% of the inbound waste materials.

“This is such an exciting moment in time for the Sustainable Business Park project and I am very proud of this team and the DPW leadership who are bringing this vision to fruition,” noted Jennifer Porter, GBB Vice President and Project Manager for the RFP process led by GBB.

There is wide community and business support for this project:

“Steelcase believes the Sustainable Business Park proposed by Kent County is a better use of allocated land resources than a landfill”, said Heidi Frasure, Sustainability Leader at Steelcase, a West Michigan-based furniture manufacturer. “The proposed Park would provide Steelcase, and other companies, local recycling options to divert more waste materials from landfill”.

For more information about the innovative Kent County Sustainable Business Park visit www.reimaginetrash.org, or to view the Request for Proposals, visit www.accesskent.com/purchasing.

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