C&D Recycling Center To Bring Jobs to Westwood
By Art Mulder
A specialized recycling center proposed for Westwood will bring new jobs, a new use for an old property, and great environmental benefits.
I’m part of this project, in partnership with Waste Not Recycling. We’re looking to build a construction and demolition (C&D) waste recycling center and transfer station on the southeast corner of Ravine Road and Nichols Road. This facility will be 20,000 square feet, with the goal of expanding another 15,000 feet in the future. We’ll employ 20 full-time workers—which will create another 27 indirect jobs in the community.
Any time a new business comes along, people have questions. We’re eager to answer them! Let’s tackle a few we’ve heard already:
What is C&D waste? C&D waste comes from construction, renovation, repair and demolition of homes, buildings and other structures, roads and public works projects. It includes concrete, asphalt, asphalt shingles, gypsum wallboard, wood, metals, bricks, glass and landscaping debris. Without recycling, those things make up at least 20% of all municipal waste going to landfills. By recycling them, we cut landfill waste and help the construction industry with lower-cost recycled materials.
What will people see or hear when the operation is running? All operations will be indoors, so there will be very little noise or visible debris. We’ll also use specialized equipment and paved surfaces to stop dust and odor. Truck traffic will be directed to and from Ravine Road. And we’ll landscape the property so it fits with the surroundings, including the trail. We want to be proud of the site in the way it looks and the way it runs.
Will you be handling any hazardous waste? No. That’s an entirely different kind of operation from C&D recycling. We’re also different from a typical scrap metal operation, which can be noisy and smelly. We want to be both a good business and a good neighbor.
Why build this in our community? The C&D recycling industry is a $7 billion enterprise, supporting 28,000 American jobs while saving 3 billion square yards of landfill space. We think our community ought to tap into that economic driver. Local builders have told us this will be a great asset. But there’s an even bigger reason. As a lifelong resident of Kalamazoo and a Westwood businessman, I know this community has the best workers, the best quality of life, and a commitment to improving the environment. I can’t think of a better home for our recycling center.
If you have more questions or feedback, we’d love to hear from you. And we’ll answer quickly! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Art Mulder is President of Mulder’s Landscape Supplies, Inc., 3333 Ravine Road. A fact sheet about the proposed C&D recycling center follows.
The partners have received a conditional special use permit from Kalamazoo Township for the parcel, which once housed a demolition business. The proposed recycling center also requires an amendment to the county solid waste management plan to accommodate C&D recycling. When drafted more than 20 years ago, the county plan did not include the the C&D recycling industry.