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GM World Headquarters Starts Composting

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GM World Headquarters starts composting

GM World Headquarters Starts Composting  Photo: John F. Martin, © General Motors

General Motors is reporting that their Global Headquarters has begun composting food scraps for use in urban farming initiatives throughout Detroit. The company has teamed with local startup Detroit Dirt, which collects food preparation pieces from the tower complex’s various Renaissance Center restaurant kitchens and mixes the scraps with herbivore manure. The resulting compost is then used to fertilize various farming projects in the motor city.

Some of the compost actually goes to the 16 raised garden beds that are on the top of the GM Global Headquarters’ Beaubien parking garage. The beds themselves are repurposed shipping crates from GM’s Orion Assembly plant, and its plants will be tended by building staff. The compost is able to filter pollutants, absorb water and provide nutrients to the herbs and vegetables growing in the rooftop garden.

GM World Headquarters starts composting

Pashon Murray of Detroit Dirt turns food scraps from restaurants at the GM Renaissance Center into compost  Photo: Doug Coombe for Detroit Dirt

Detroit Dirt was founded by Pashon Murray, who Newsweek recently named one of 13 women entrepreneurs to bet on. “Detroit Dirt has partnered with GM for the last couple of years on facility composting initiatives that feed projects like Cadillac Urban Gardens in southwest Detroit,” said Murray. “Companies like GM are getting their hands dirty and demonstrating a sustainability mindset. These urban gardens contribute to Detroit’s renewal and help revitalize our neighborhoods.”

Late last year, GM announced that the Global Headquarters was no longer sending any waste to landfills; instead recycling, reusing or converting to energy all waste. GM Global Manager of Waste Reduction John Radburn stated that “landfill-free” was not a finish line, and views composting as one of many possible ways to improve the facility’s eco-friendliness.