Michigan helps fund counties’ sustainable business park

Michigan helps fund counties’ sustainable business park

Two counties in Michigan set sights on mixed waste processing anchor tenant.

September 30, 2021

A $4 million appropriation in the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) budget will be allocated to infrastructure spending at a planned Sustainable Business Park in Kent and Allegan Counties in that state.

The Sustainable Business Park, planned for 250 acres adjacent to the South Kent Landfill in Byron Center, Michigan, will be built on land that was initially purchased by Kent County to create a new landfill. The state funding will go toward infrastructure improvements on the site such as utilities, roads and stormwater to prepare it for initial tenants. The first phase of infrastructure development is estimated to cost $19 million.

“The state investment in this important project will vastly reduce Kent County’s landfill usage and contribute to a circular economy,” says Dar Baas, director of the Kent County Department of Public Works. “Landfills are not the legacy anyone wants to leave for future generations, and this investment is an acknowledgment that we’re on the right path toward a more sustainable future.”

Approved in 2018, the Sustainable Business Park Master Plan lays out a vision for transitioning away from landfilling waste in favor of placing value on components of the waste as feedstock for new products or fuel sources. The master plan calls for an anchor tenant who will receive mixed waste currently going to the landfill and “separate it for secondary and tertiary tenants to utilize.”

The two counties anticipate the state funding will “lay the foundation for additional private investment in the entire park.”