Restaurants are, on average, notorious for being wasteful. What could be recycled or composted tends to be thrown out instead, adding to the ever-growing landfill piles. Though in an effort to buck the trend, General Motors’ global headquarters in Detroit, The Renaissance Center, now collects and composts discarded food in its many restaurant kitchens for use in urban farming initiatives throughout the city.
This is an initiative on top of the facility already being landfill-free.
Local composting startup Detroit Dirt collects coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable pieces and mixes them with herbivore manure (aka cow poop), some of which ends up in a rooftop garden at the complex.
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.