Government, Real Estate, and Sustainability

Kent County issues RFI for sustainable business park

March 8, 2018
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Kent County Sustainable Business Park 200-acre site
The Sustainable Business Park will be spread over a 200-acre site. Courtesy Kent County

Kent County is reaching out to companies to participate in a large-scale waste management project.

The Kent County Department of Public Works, or DPW, has issued a request for information, or RFI, for potential tenants and their complementary technologies for its Sustainable Business Park project.

The park will sit on 200 acres of land adjacent to the South Kent Landfill in Byron Center. The official address hasn’t been determined, since the project will likely include roadway upgrades and the addition of new roads to access various businesses in the park.

The deadline for companies to respond to the RFI is April 26.

“We set a bold goal of diverting 90 percent of trash from the South Kent Landfill by 2030, and building the Sustainable Business Park is essential to reaching that goal,” said Dar Baas, director, Kent County DPW.

Ownership of the park hasn’t been determined. The DPW expects to maintain ownership of the property and enter long-term leases with tenants, but the RFI does ask respondents to identify ownership scenarios desirable to them.

The RFI asks companies to present their qualifications and waste-processing and conversion technologies.

Any technology or equipment suppliers, project developers, technology developers and end-market users that desire to design, build, finance, own or operate facilities in the Sustainable Business Park should apply.

The RFI cites a live teleconference on March 28, where respondents can ask questions about the process and project, which will be followed by a tour of existing DPW facilities and the site of the Sustainable Business Park.

After the response period closes, a stakeholder review committee made up of local officials, businesses, nonprofits, developers and citizens will review responses.

Kent County had a steady increase in the amount of waste buried in landfills over the past year, according to an annual report by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Waste buried in landfills increased from 1.8-million cubic yards in 2016 to 2.1-million cubic yards in 2017.

Building the Sustainable Business Park is the DPW’s solution to decreasing the growing amount of solid waste buried in landfills.

Kent County DPW processes more than 1-billion pounds of waste each year and estimates 75 percent of that waste could be reused, recycled or converted. Currently, only 6 to 8 percent of waste is recycled.

People can visit the county purchasing division's website and click the "bid opportunities" button the left column to access the RFI. 

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