Kent County Department of Public Works unveiled last week a roughly $300,000 interactive recycling exhibit at the Kent County Recycling and Education Center. The recycling exhibit is part of Kent County’s push to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill.”It’s more hands-on and exciting,” Public Works Director, Darwin Baas said. “I’m a boy at heart; I want to interact with things, because that’s how I’m wired.”

The exhibit begins on the first floor, taking people up a stairway with walls depicting a landfill scene. The sound of heavy machinery can be heard over speaker. On the second floor, visitors are lead through a brief history of recycling and waste. Next, the facility’s recycling process is detailed through placards and pictures and interactive items. Finally, patrons are shown how recyclables are transformed into everyday objects. Like before, the hall housing the exhibit leads out to the observation walkway overlooking the recycling equipment.

Around 6,000 people each year tour the facility, Baas said. With the new exhibits and crafts room, he hopes that number doubles or even triples and that students take away even more from the experience. DPW spokesperson Kristen Wieland  said the exhibits allow children and adults to see what happens after the curb and experience the importance of what they’re doing at home. Wieland said she hopes children come away as recycling “champions” in their homes and start dialogues with their parents about the practice.

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