Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum has launched a new recycling initiative designed to help local companies implement waste diversion programs and potentially establish zero waste to landfill goals.

The MGSSBF Zero Waste Initiative is based on a program that has helped Kent and Ottawa county organizations collaborate on shared challenges for recycling and waste diversion. Facilitated by Sustainable Research Group, which also facilitates the Grand Rapids program, the Zero Waste Initiative supports the efforts of Southwest Michigan businesses to keep waste from being sent to landfills. It will promote the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recovery hierarchy, helping to establish a circular economy in the region through education, evaluation, research and joint activities.

The initiative is led by a group of founding sponsors that includes Brilliant General Maintenance, Jones Lang La Salle, Lakeland Hospital, Stryker Corporation, Western Michigan University, and Whirlpool. It will meet once per quarter, with educational opportunities and other support provided virtually in between meetings.

The group will focus on program implementation and infrastructure development, aligning with activity in the region, and will benefit from the experience of the more established participants in the sister group.

Strategic Objectives include:

  • Develop waste and recycling measurement tools;
  • Create a forum to help members reuse, reduce or recycle materials;
  • Benchmark best practices to help achieve waste reductions; and
  • Work collaboratively to improve recycling markets in Southwest Michigan

This year, the Zero Waste Initiative will meet on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, May 24
  • Wednesday, August 23
  • Wednesday, November 22

Any organization with waste reduction needs may participate for an annual fee of $250 for up to two representatives per company. Organizations that are not members of MGSSBF will be asked to join the organization after one year or pay an increased annual fee.  At this time, only waste-producing companies are eligible to participate.  Vendors may inquire about presenting to the group.

PDF flier available here.

Sign up by contacting Daniel Schoonmaker at dschoonmaker@mgssbf.org or 269-588-0222.