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.
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.
The composting initiative started with Italian restaurant Andiamo Riverfront, which has generated 12,000 pounds of food scraps since April. 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. GM expects to collect about 51,000 tons by year’s end.
Leftover food waste from diners is converted to energy at a facility a few blocks away, creating renewable energy that powers other Detroit businesses.
The Renaissance Center remains the most complex of GM’s 111 landfill-free sites as it’s the only one open to the public.