Oct 21, 2022 - News

Zero-waste advocates want citywide compost system

Illustration of a recycling symbol made out of shovels carrying dirt.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Sustainability advocates are working to develop a citywide composting system, Planet Detroit reports.

Why it matters: Advocates say such a system would create local jobs, decrease truck traffic and emissions from waste pickup and provide organic fertilizer for community gardens.

The intrigue: Breathe Free Detroit, one of several groups credited with helping shut down the Detroit Renewable Power facility, is receiving training from a zero-waste group called Mother Earth Foundation.

  • The Philippines-based organization does monthly training with Breathe Free Detroit members on how to set up community composting systems.

What they're saying: KT Andresky, Breathe Free Detroit’s campaign organizer, told Planet Detroit that many of her neighbors see a direct line between composting and recycling and improving their community health.

  • "Our communities still face a lot of respiratory and health problems because of the pollution that was caused from the incinerator," Andresky said.

Between the lines: Detroit became one of the last major cities with curbside recycling in 2014 and has a waste diversion rate of only 4%, compared to the state average of more than 19%.

Of note: Waste Management announced plans yesterday to build a new recycling center in Detroit as state leaders push to increase Michigan's recycling rate to 30% by 2025.


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