GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kent County Department of Public Works is aiming to educate residents on what can be recycled.

The department processes around 25,000 tons of single-stream recycling every year, according to Steve Faber, the communications and marketing manager with the department. But he said there’s around 75,000 tons of material that could have been recycled but was thrown away instead.

Kent County has a recycling guide on its website,, to help residents understand what can go in the bin.

“We understand that it can be confusing. Depending on where you live you may have access to different services,” Faber said. “We really encourage people to come to the website, look at our disposal guide.”

Faber said his team’s goal is to reduce landfill waste by 90% by the year 2030. He said people have to get better at recycling for that to happen.

“We’re making some good steps. Michigan just announced that we’ve increased our recycling rate,” Faber said. “It really takes everybody pulling in the same direction to do that.”

Kent County Department of Public Works offers tours at its Recycling and Education Center, located at 977 Wealthy St. SW near Butterworth Street. Anyone can stop by on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for a self-guided tour.

Faber said the department also offers tours at its waste energy facility and at the landfill.

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For the full conversation with Steve Faber, watch the video in the player above.