Detroit Dirt: Pashon Murray’s passion for waste reduction contributing to the city’s move to zero-waste

Detroit Dirt, a local composting and biomass collection company in Detroit, is aiming to create a zero-waste mindset throughout communities and drive forward a low-carbon economy.

At the heart of the business is co-founder Pashon Murray, who is passionate about waste reduction, recycling, the reuse of materials and keeping things out of landfill.

Detroit Dirt collects manure from plant eating animals at the Detroit Zoo and food scraps from businesses to make high-quality compost at a facility in Corktown. It makes compost from the organic waste and then sells it to businesses, organisations, and individuals in Detroit.

Detroit Dirt is not only creating compost and selling it to local gardeners and urban farmer around Detroit, but it is also contributing to the city moving one step closer to zero-waste and landfill free.

The resourceful Pashon Murray has always had an awareness of the need to reduce the amount of waste that goes to those landfills. Her father ran a waste removal company, and she would often accompany him to landfills when she was growing up.

In 2010 Murray started Detroit Dirt, a local composting and waste collection company that specialises in providing a sustainable option for the metro Detroit community. Detroit Dirt’s closed-loop model process – whereby compost plays a key part in creating a closed-loop supply-chain and food system in Detroit – was designed by Pashon Murray to help revitalise Detroit.

Since its birth, Detroit Dirt has diverted more than 90 million pounds of waste from landfills by converting it to nutrient-rich compost.

Pashon Murray says: “Stop looking at it [compost] like waste and start looking at it as a resource. If we don’t have healthy soil, we don’t have a way to sustain humanity.”

A passionate green advocate, Pashon Murray is keen to educate people about waste reduction and climate change. She launched the Detroit Dirt Foundation to provide education programmes in school and assistance with research on soil contamination and erosion.

Detroit Dirt

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and offers content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at 


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