General Motors expands composting program at Detroit headquarters

Photo courtesy of General Motors

General Motors (GM) is expanding its composting program at its Detroit headquarters, a Feb. 16 blog post from the company says. The compost collection program, which started with select restaurants at GM’s global headquarters in the Renaissance Center (RENCEN), has expanded to include participation from all floors and occupants of the complex.

The RENCEN complex is more than 5 million square feet and houses a hotel, 23 restaurants, 36 retailers and 10 other businesses. The blog post says it can accommodate 12,000 office workers and 3,000 visitors per day. Residents of the complex, which include 5,700 GM employees, are encouraged to use plastic bins located on each floor to dispose of grains, egg shells, fruit and vegetable scraps and other food waste.

The program began in 2014 as part of the complex’s landfill-free goal and diverts food preparation waste to help urban farming initiatives in the area. Since its start, the RENCEN has partnered with Detroit Dirt, a local composting startup, to collect food scraps and fruit and vegetables pieces, mix the scraps with herbivore manure and create a compost used in urban gardens throughout the city, including GM’s Beaubien rooftop garden.

Produce from the Beaubien garden is donated to Andiamo Riverfront, an Italian restaurant in Detroit, the blog post says. The restaurant makes donations equal to the produce’s value to a local warming center for the city’s homeless. The blog post says the compost program collected more than 125,000 pounds of scraps in 2017.