In 2011, The Daily Beast included Grand Rapids in a slideshow of Americas dying cities. In 2012 Grand Rapids is included in the top 12 cities for sustainability. Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell responded to the editor listing several awards and qualities that show Grand Rapids is continually growing. Since then, Heartwell has launched a new recycling program that allows Grand Rapids residents to put all recyclables like paper, plastic, cardboard and glass into a single container. By doing this it simplifies the recycling process by keeping everything together. After the items are collected the city sorts through them. The program has increased recycling in Grand Rapids 80 percent and saves the city $100,000 because there is less trash to incinerate. 

-Mark Brace