OTTAWA COUNTY – Ottawa County has launched a pilot food compost program in two of its environmental sustainability centers.

The program currently includes a pilot project in Grand Haven and Holland that is available to all residents of Ottawa County. Residents can purchase a compostable bag, register with a companion, and return the bag when it is full. Small businesses can purchase a weekly or monthly membership.

More:Ottawa County’s program accepts a wide variety of waste materials

“Holland and Grand Haven Environmental Sustainability Centers were selected to host the food compost pilot program because they are the busiest centers in Ottawa,” environmental health supervisor Kimberly Wolters wrote in an email to The Sentinel.

“Both centers are also open for the longest periods to be more available to residents who want to compost.”

The composting process takes organic material, such as food waste, and breaks it down to enrich the soil. Using compost is an easy way to reduce chemical fertilizers while preventing soil erosion, increasing soil fertility, and improving water retention – as well as reducing the amount of usable material that is sent to local landfills.

The Ottawa County Environmental Sustainability Centers were formerly known as Resource Reclamation Centers.

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“In early 2020, it was decided to change the name of the program from the Solid Waste Program to the Environmental Sustainability Program to better align with the overall goals of the program,” Wolters wrote.

“With the new name of the program, it was also deemed necessary to change the name of our centers. In addition to recovering resources and solid waste, the program and centers are also designed to collect valuable materials that would otherwise end up in our landfills and allow those materials to be reused, recycled or properly disposed of. “

The retail membership is $ 5 per pocket, while the small business membership is $ 12 per week or $ 40 per month.

Ottawa County's environmental sustainability program aims to reduce the amount of usable materials that land in local landfills.

The program is supported by the EGLE Recycling Market Development MICROS Grant from NextCycle Michigan. If the pilot goes well, the program will expand to centers in Coopersville and Jenison next summer.

Residents in Holland and Grand Haven can register and purchase compostable bags during normal business hours. Both centers only accept credit cards for payment.

The Holland Environmental Sustainability Center, 14053 Quincy St., is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and every second Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The Grand Haven Environmental Sustainability Center, 16850 Comstock Ave., is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and every fourth Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

– Contact reporter Cassandra Lybrink at [email protected] Follow her on Instagram @BizHolland.