STANTON — Montcalm County officials are preparing to cut ties with Recycle World and establish six new unmanned recycling sites throughout the county.
Montcalm County currently contracts with Recycle World, based out of a building at M-91 and Sidney Road in Montcalm Township. Recycle World is owned by Kevin Willemstein of Gowen, along with his son. They have four additional employees.
The contract between Montcalm County and Recycle World expires April 30.
Montcalm County Resource Recovery Coordinator Jacob Rytlewski said the county will transition its recycling program to Republic Services starting May 1. The move is partially due to community concerns about Recycle World.
“We are aware of the negative comments and complaints regarding Recycle World,” Rytlewski said.
Willemstein said the county pays him $1,500 per month to keep the doors open at the M-91 and Sidney Road site, as well as to be responsible for mobile recycling sites in Carson City, Crystal, Edmore, Lakeview, Sheridan and Stanton.
“We won’t be able to keep the door open as a drop site,” said Willemstein of losing the contract with the county. “We’re still hopeful our company will survive. We’re hoping to still service commercial and industrial.”
Willemstein said people often bring too many recyclable items at once to the M-91 and Sidney Road location, making his job difficult.
“Nine out of 10 people who come through the door, we have to stop what we’re doing to help them and it’s really distracting,” he said. “This is a processing plant. If we don’t process, then it’s not recyclable.”
Rytlewski said the county will continue to offer recycling to residents by establishing six new unmanned permanent recycle sites throughout the county. The exact locations of the new sites are still being figured out.
Montcalm County has had an unmanned site up and running in Howard City since October 2011. The site is located in the northeast corner of Leppink’s parking lot and is open 24 hours per day. The 35-by-35-foot fenced-in area contains two 20-yard covered containers. Accepted recyclables at the unmanned site include clean plastic, metal cans, glass bottles and paper products. Recyclables do not need to be separated.
Republic Services will take over the county’s six mobile sites starting May 1 and will continue to collect recyclables one day per month for three months at those sites while educating residents on the changes and new processes of recycling — including no sorting required.
Starting June 1, residents will have local access to recycling around the clock when the permanent unmanned sites have been established.