Kent County Recycling Center to reopen after shutdown

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kent County Recycling and Education Center will reopen on Monday after a five-week shutdown.

The center on Wealthy Street will start accepting recycling materials on that day. The drop-off stations at the recycling center and North Kent Recycling and Waste Center in Rockford will also reopen that day as well.

Officials say neither facility will be open on Saturdays.

The center closed on March 27 to limit the exposure of COVID-19, citing concerns workers would not be able to maintain a proper distance from each other.

Officials say they have put several measures in place to ensure its 40 workers are safe, including prescreening employees, increasing cleaning frequency at workstations, staggering workstations to meet social distancing rules and increasing personal protective gear.

“We’ve taken a step back, we’ve talked to industry professionals, we’ve analyzed health and safety procedures in the building, protective equipment and prescreening before people come in and we think we’re ready to get off and start it again providing the service to the community,” facility supervisor Kyle Shoemaker said.

“We also recognize that people are going to have a surplus of material,” Shoemaker continued. “We hope that people have been holding on to their recyclables as long as possible, maybe in their garage or their shed. We’re asking that people open the bags up and dump the items into our recycle bins loose. That’s the way they run through our machines the best.”