Goodwill Industries To Recycle With Grooters Green Group

May 9, 2008
| By Pete Daly |
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GRAND RAPIDS — Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids has formed a recycling partnership with Grooters Green Group, which provides waste collection, recycling and disposal services to commercial and industrial customers in the Grand Rapids area.

Beginning June 1, Goodwill will provide the labor to sort and bail salvageable plastic, wood, metal, glass, paper and other materials collected by Grooters Green Group, at a facility leased by Goodwill on 76th Street near U.S. 131. The material will then be sold in bulk to companies that process those recycled materials.

Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids, which actually serves eight West Michigan counties, predicts its new recycling program will divert up to 575,000 pounds of waste per month from West Michigan landfills. Other than clothing, much of what is donated to Goodwill cannot be resold and had to be discarded, up to now. Jill Wallace, vice president of Community Relations for Goodwill, said the organization’s annual cost of landfill disposal in West Michigan was about $250,000 per year.

Goodwill already recycles some of its donated clothing, which is purchased by companies that ship it to Third World countries.

“Goodwill is committed to becoming a greener organization. As the largest textile recycler in the world, we have an obligation to recycle all salvage material that comes through our doors. Additionally, we are committed to extracting the greatest value from every donation. The recyclable value will generate additional dollars for our workforce development programs — the core of Goodwill,” said Jill Wallace, vice president of Community Relations.

Goodwill participants already sort and bail recyclable industrial scrap at Lacks Enterprises in Grand Rapids.

Goodwill hopes to open a permanent recycling facility within a year, where it would sort and bail materials from businesses and non-profit organizations. The organization hopes to create an industrial park around the permanent recycling center, where small businesses would use the salvaged materials in manufacturing.

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