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Corktown's Detroit Dirt grows customer base by 100 percent

Eighteen months ago, Detroit Dirt consisted of the ambition of a couple of young people who wanted to make better use of what Detroiters throw away. Today, it's a small group of entrepreneurs growing a sustainable business by composting more and more of Motor City's bio-degradable waste.

The Corktown-based start-up specializes in composting bio-degradable waste (think food scraps) from restaurants, cafeterias and other commercial facilities in the city. Some of Detroit Dirt's customers include the General Motors cafeteria in the Renaissance Center and the Chevrolet Volt plant in Hamtramck.

"Our customer base also grew 100 percent," says Pashon Murray, co-owner of Detroit Dirt. "We have grown quite a bit over the last year."

Detroit Dirt has grown to five people and plans to bring on a handful of interns this summer. The start-up is leasing a small strip of land from the Canadian Rail Group in Corktown. That parcel is used to compost the bio-degradable waste, which is then used as a natural fertilizer and top soil. The company was composting a couple hundred yards of product when it started and is now processing 3,000 yards today.

"We're going to use some of it with some gardens we're designing for this spring," Murray says.

Detroit Dirt plans to open a few more locations this year to process more bio-degradable waste. It also plans to partner with some local schools and universities to boost its customer base and total amount of product processing.

Source: Pashon Murray, co-owner of Detroit Dirt
Writer: Jon Zemke

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