By MARTE SKAARA
Capital News Service
LANSING — Tiny fields, some trees and a road – that’s how this piece of land the southwest corner of Kent County, about 13 miles from Grand Rapids, looked in 1939. In the ’60s and ’70s the fields grew. Then – in 1982 a landfill was born. The South Kent Landfill is one of Michigan’s 48 active landfills for solid consumer waste. In 2013 almost 700,000 cubic yards of ash and trash were added to the pile.
In Gaylord, the only place to get a hamburger during the 1960s was the Town Crest Restaurant. And it didn’t even have a drive-through. “When McDonald’s came to town, it was a big deal,” said Debbie Dunham, a long-time resident and Gaylord’s city assessor. She moved to the city an hour south of the Mackinac Bridge in 1968 at the age of 16. Coming from Flint with its multiple drive-in theaters and fast-food places, she felt a bit of a shock, she said.