GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - One day after Target 8 reported that recyclables were being sent to an incinerator , the Kent County recycling center is back online.
A tip to 'Report It' got Target 8 asking questions. We discovered a baler used to package recyclables for sale has broken twice in the last month . So instead of recycling products, the county sent them to the Waste for Energy facility to be burned.
Director of Solid Waste Dennis Kmiecik told 24 Hour News 8 he was having an issue with getting the needed parts to fix the baler from Excel Manufacturing, located in Minnesota.
"I'm on TV right now talking to you, so it's not going to be pretty for your company. I'm just telling you that," Kmiecik said while on the phone with Excel.
Kent County Department of Public Works director Doug Wood called 24 Hour News 8 late Thursday and said a local company, Van Hydraulics, made the part needed for the broken baler. The company provided the county with that part as a temporary fix and the baler was back up and running as of Thursday night. Public Works did receive the needed part from Excel Manufacturing and plans to install that part on Saturday as a permanent fix.
Currently, there is still a back log of approximately 700 tons of recyclables to go through. The Kent County Public Works Department says they'll work overtime and extra shifts to get caught up.
While the baler was down, Kent County lost $12,000 per day in recycling sales and payed $45 per ton to burn the recyclables, converting the paper and plastic into energy.
All together, the county said, the three weeks the baler was down cost the facility $250,000.
If you have an issue you would like Target 8 to look into, email ReportIt@woodtv.com with your story.
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