accessKent will be down for maintenance between 2:30 and 3:30pm, Tuesday, April 11th. The outage will be for approximately 30 minutes.
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Department of Public Works

Mission Statement

Our Vision:
Implement sustainable materials management strategies to reduce dependency on landfill disposal.

Our Mission:
Foster collaborative and innovative solutions that deliver value to our stakeholders by managing discarded materials to conserve natural resources and promote a healthy, vibrant and sustainable community. 

Our Values:
  • Employees are our most valuable resource and essential in delivering our mission.
  • Visitors, customers and employees will receive prompt, courteous service that exceeds expectations.
  • We will be innovative in our thinking, thoughtful in our planning and efficient in our execution.
  • Community leadership, transparency and public-private partnerships drive our business decisions.
  • We are committed to fostering a culture that embraces diversity, inclusion and equity. We believe that our unique differences enrich and empower the lives of all and we will work collaboratively to achieve common goals.
  • We will not compromise on safety or environmental compliance.
  • We consider today’s actions for tomorrow’s benefit.
Adopted by the Board of Public Works on August 6, 2015

The Department of Public Works (DPW) is an enterprise fund of Kent County established by the Board of Commissioners to provide solid waste management services to Kent County. The DPW is considered an agency of the County under the general control of the Kent County Board of Commissioners and under the immediate control of the Board of Public Works.

Recycling & Education Center Waste-to-Energy Facility North Kent Transfer Station South Kent Landfill

The DPW has a fleet of facilities and programs that include the Recycling & Education Center, Waste-to-Energy Facility, North Kent Recycling & Waste Center and South Kent Recycling & Waste Center.

Strategic Goals

  • Develop and implement a strategy for sustainable solid waste management, processing, and recycling services
  • Budget and operate without the use of Kent County General Fund support
  • Participate in the economic development and planning efforts of the region
  • Implement approved Solid Waste Management Plan goals and objectives that include expanded solid waste recovery prior to disposal in recycling services and systems
  • Expand South Kent Landfill capacity with initial priority on ash monofill requirements;
  • Explore the most economical avenue to expand the hours of operation at the Recycling and Education Center
  • Provide clean energy through the production of electricity at the Waste-to-Energy Facility and the South Kent Landfill Gas-to- Energy plant
  • Install a landfill gas collection system at the Kentwood Landfill.

Operational Goals

  • Ensure availability of long-term disposal services and transfer capacity for Kent County residents
  • Operate disposal and transfer facilities in compliance with license and permits
  • Accept and process increased curb side recycling tonnage at the Recycling Education Center
  • Expand participation through a comprehensive educational and advertising program. (HHW)
  • Process 26,000 tons in the new single stream recycling facility
  • Accept all solid waste delivered and process solid waste for energy recovery or transfer in a cost effective and environmentally responsible manner
  • Maintain Clean Corporate Citizen certification

Selected Performance Measures (PDF) »

Contact Us

Department of Public Works Logo

1500 Scribner NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

(616) 632-7920

(616) 632-7925


Darwin Baas, Director

Kimberly Williams, Finance Director

Molly Sherwood, Environmental Compliance Manager

Dan Rose, Solid Waste Operations Manager

Nic VanderVinne, Resource Recovery & Recycling Manager

Paul Smith, Waste-to-Energy Operations Manager

Kristen Wieland, Marketing & Communications Manager

Alisha Barber, Office Administrator

Employee Recognition

Nominate a Kent County Employee for Quality Service!