Pashon Murray cofounded Detroit Dirt in 2010 as a local compost company, which focuses on being an engine for waste reduction and climate benefits.
As a child growing up in Grand Rapids, she watched her father run a waste removal company and accompanied him on trips to the landfill.
Today, this environmental entrepreneur collects waste from plant-eating animals at the Detroit Zoo, food waste from local restaurants and General Motors’ headquarters, among many other places, and makes compost with it.
“Food waste and the management of food systems are imperative.”
If we eliminate food waste from landfills we can create multiple byproducts and renewable energy, Pashon explains.
“My whole mission is using a closed-loop model – taking food waste, repurposing it and putting it back into the community,” she says. The goal is to create awareness in Detroit about the options available to regenerate waste into resources that can reshape Detroit with community garden and urban farm initiatives.
Depending on where you live, food waste takes up 20-25 percent of the landfill.
Not only does Pashon collect waste no one else wants, she has helped other corporations and communities start their own gardens, utilising her compost as a starting point for fertile soil.
Detroit’s future depends on circular economies and sustainable practices, Pashon says.