GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kent County Department of Public Works says the Recycling and Education Center on Wealthy Street will reopen on Friday, days after a wall collapse forced the facility to shut down.
The incident happened Monday afternoon. Bales of cardboard had shifted and fallen through the building’s sidewall, damaging the exterior wall and a roof support beam. Nobody was hurt in the incident.
The facility was completely shut down while the DPW met with structural engineers to make sure the facility was safe to use and put together a repair plan, including temporary building supports.
“We have ensured the building is supported and assessed the full extent of the damage to the facility,” DPW Director Dar Baas said in a release. “We will be testing equipment Thursday and plan to begin accepting material and processing recyclables on Friday.”
The Wealthy Street facility is the primary “materials recovery facility” for residential recyclables across West Michigan. With the facility closed, that material had to be diverted to the nearby Waste-to-Energy facility, which uses an incinerator to burn the material and captures the resulting energy. The ash is then taken to a landfill.
“We occasionally experience closures at the recycling center when we need to shut the processing line down to install new equipment or make repairs,” DPW Communications Manager Steve Faber said. “During these outages, it’s always a good idea to connect with your waste hauler to see if they recommend holding on to your recycling.”
While permanent repairs are expected to take several months, the facility will be open for recycling drop-off and the tours and educational programming that the facility provides.