The Kent County Department of Public Works is creating a plan to reduce landfill waste by 90 percent by 2030.

The agency will propose building a facility on 200 acres of land in Allegan County just south of the South Kent Landfill that will allow separation of the many high-value items received every day.

Without action, the South Kent Landfill will be at capacity by 2029, and a new landfill will have to be created on that 200 acres. To keep that from happening, Darwin Baas, the agency’s director, said it will take some big changes.

“We need a paradigm shift,” Baas said. “We’ve got to think differently about how we’re collecting it, how we’re separating it and how we’re going to process it going forward.”

The plan is to build a sustainable business park and rent the space to businesses that will sort through incoming trash and remove items that have value to their operations. Some of these items include wood, metals, plastics — anything that can be reused or repurposed, even items such as furniture. Compostable refuse and items that can be sent to a recycling facility also will be separated from incoming waste.

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