American Recycler News, Inc.


Renaissance Center sends zero waste to landfill

The General Motors (GM) Renaissance Center now recycles, reuses or converts all its daily waste, diverting five million pounds of trash annually from landfill.

The drive to make the Renaissance Center landfill-free took more than two years. The process included coordination with employees, recycling partners, business tenants and their employees, and property management company, CBRE.

The Renaissance Center is the most complex among GM’s 110 landfill-free sites to reach the milestone. It’s the company’s only facility open to the public. Covering 5.5 million sq.ft., the building houses a tall all-hotel skyscraper, 11 other businesses, 20 restaurants and 27 retailers.

The journey began with a dumpster dive, searching through trash to identify recycling opportunities. GM teamed with all the business tenants, environmental staffs and CBRE to engage people in increasing paper, plastic and battery recycling.

The Renaissance Center now recycles 49 percent of its waste, an improvement of 127 percent since the drive began in 2011. The remaining waste is converted to energy through a facility located a few blocks away; creating renewable energy that powers other Detroit businesses.