Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. (GBB) announced today that it has been selected by the Kent County, MI Department of Public Works to develop a Master Plan for 200+ acres of property to convert waste materials into marketable products. As part of its long-term vision to implement Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) strategies, the Department of Public Works is pursuing the development of the Resource Park as a key component of its SMM system, to house facilities to recover discarded materials, to reuse and recycle the recovered material, and to convert non-recyclable material into intermediate products or to recover the energy value of those discards. Joining GBB for this key assignment are Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc., a local Grand Rapids-based Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Architecture, and Construction Management firm, and Stern Brothers & Co., an independent investment banking firm who provides various public and private infrastructure finance opportunities. Stern Brothers is one of the nation's largest certified 100% woman-owned business enterprise (WBE) investment bank.
"In 2016, we set a roadmap to achieve 20% reduction in landfilled waste by 2020, and 90% by 2030, to bring Kent County closer to a circular economy system," said Dar Baas, Kent County Department of Public Works Director. "A key component of that strategy is the successful establishment of the Resource Park. The GBB Project Team has proven that it's up to the challenge with the combination of a clear understanding of our vision, a sensible project approach, past success stories, strength of the project team, and recent projects performed for the County."
"Kent County, the home of Grand Rapids and the second largest Metropolitan area in Michigan, has an award-winning solid waste management system. It is unusual for a County in Michigan to offer such extensive services that include a waste-to-energy facility," stated Stephen Simmons, GBB Senior Vice President and Officer-in-Charge for this assignment. "Furthermore, the County's solid waste system is managed by a leadership group that has a strong desire to identify and implement positive long-term changes. We could not be prouder of being chosen to help advance the County's sustainability initiatives."
The long-term goal for the Resource Park is to displace landfill use for disposal of waste materials as much as possible by attracting new business ventures that will not only recover waste materials, but also convert them into new, domestically manufactured, products through innovative technologies.
"As evidenced by China's recent waste import ban, America's recycling future is highly dependent upon the development of domestic outlets for its recovered materials," added Simmons. "Resource Parks, such as the one envisioned for Kent County, can play a vital role in the development of that domestic capacity while providing green collar jobs for local communities."
As part of the assignment, the GBB Project Team will conduct stakeholders' meetings; perform waste stream and market analyses; evaluate technologies; develop a Master Plan for the design and construction of necessary public infrastructure; research funding sources; and evaluate how the services provided by the Resource Park tenants might interact with Kent County's existing waste management infrastructure.
Kent County has a population of approximately 642,000 and is West Michigan's economic and manufacturing center. The Department of Public Works began providing disposal solutions in the late 1960s and currently provides integrated waste management services to the County and West Michigan with facilities that include the Recycling & Education Center, Waste-to-Energy Facility, North Kent Transfer Station and South Kent Landfill.