General Motors’ Global Headquarters, a multi-office tower complex that sends no waste to landfills, now composts food preparation scraps from its various Renaissance Center restaurant kitchens for use in urban farming initiatives throughout the city.
Local composting startup Detroit Dirt collects coffee grounds and fruit and vegetable pieces and mixes them with herbivore manure, some of which ends up in a rooftop garden at the complex.
According to GM Global Manager of Waste Reduction John Bradburn, “landfill-free” isn’t a finish line. There are always ways – like composting – to improve a facility’s environmental impact.
The composting initiative started with 280-seat Italian restaurant Andiamo Riverfront, which has generated 12,000 pounds of food scraps since April — about the weight of an elephant. The initiative expanded in July to include Joe Muer Seafood, Presto Gourmet Deli, Coach Insignia, Coffee Beanery and Potbelly Sandwich Works. Restaurants in the building’s main food court are expected to join the movement in the fall. Approximately 51,000 tons is expected to be collected by year’s end.