KENT COUNTY, Mich. — The Kent County Department of Public Works and Grand Rapids Public Schools will be receiving more than $450,000 in grants to help Michigan reach their goal of doubling the state's recycling rate to 30% by 2025.
The grants will come from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), and the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI). The money comes as part of the Grand Rapids launch of EGLE's Know It Before You Throw It education campaign, which aims to better inform Michiganders on what can and cannot be recycled, as well as how to recycle correctly.
Michigan's current 15% recycling rate is the lowest in the Great Lakes states region and among the lowest in the nation.
EGLE will be giving GRPS nearly $258,000 — the largest-ever grant awarded to GRPS — to help improve recycling access, education and infrastructure in all district classrooms, cafeterias and administrative buildings. The project will impact 47 buildings, 16,656 students and about 3,000 staff members.
The grant will provide 1,279 recycling receptacles and 112 dollies to address janitorial needs as part of the district's push for a 400% increase in collection capacity.
More than $175,000 will help the Kent County Department of Public Works purchase new equipment to help the DPW's overall goal to reduce waste going to landfill by 90% by 2020. It is the largest recycling grant given to Kent County's DPW this century.
In Michigan, state legislators have increased EGLE's funding for recycling projects from $2 million last year to $15 million in 2019.
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