Kent County unveils new interactive recycling exhibit

Posted at 10:58 AM, Sep 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-16 11:00:39-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Kent County has unveiled an interactive exhibit meant to encourage residents to recycle.

The Kent County Department of Public Works created the $300,000 exhibit in the Kent County Recycling & Education Center, the Grand Rapids Press reported. The exhibit depicts a landfill, gives a history of recycling and waste, shows the facility’s recycling process and illustrates how recyclables are turned into other objects.

The exhibit shows visitors the importance of home recycling, said Kristen Wieland, a department spokeswoman.

“These exhibits will further explain how critical recycling is to creating local jobs and protecting our environment,” she said.

Wieland said she hopes the exhibit will encourage children to get involved with recycling and start a dialogue about the practice with their parents.

“Once you get into the habit of thinking about recycling, it’s hard to stop doing it,” she said.

The exhibit is part of the department’s goal to reduce landfill waste. Officials hope to cut waste by 90 percent by 2030, Wieland said. About 10 percent of the county’s residential waste is diverted from landfills, she said.

The exhibit is open to the public Monday afternoons, though tours can be scheduled outside that time.

About 6,000 people visit the facility annually, according to Darwin Baas, the department’s director. Officials hope to double or triple that amount with the new exhibit, he said.