Reneé V. Wallace

Reneé V. Wallace

Reneé V. Wallace

Speaker | ReMark Composting Solutions

Detroit, MI |

Reneé has the privilege of leading three entrepreneurial entities, Doers Edge LLC, FoodPLUS Detroit, and ReMark Composting Solutions (Co-Founder). She is committed to advancing composting and compost use, serving through engagement in The Peoples Compost Initiative (FPD), Detroit Green Taskforce (Organics Recycling, Climate Action), Detroit Climate Strategy, Michigan Organics Council (USCC Chapter), NextCycle (State of MI recycling initiative Ambassador, Reviewer, DEI Team member), National Resource Defense Council Great Lakes Region Cohort (Detroit Team), USCC ICAW Coordinator, and USCC DEI work group (training committee).  She received the 2021 H. Clark Gregory Award from the USCC for grassroot compost leadership. In 2022, Reneé launched a community compost training program in Detroit integrating local context with learnings from USCC COTC, 131 School of Composting, and ILSR NSR programs. Reneé’s contributions to composting draw from over three decades of serving as a facilitative leader, business consultant/coach, and trainer for industry and community-based organizations.

Session Code: F6

Track: Diversion and Collection

Session Name: Innovative Case Studies

Session Time: Thursday, Jan 26, 2:00 – 3:30 PM

Presentation Title: Developing Community-based Composting in an Urban Setting

Presentation Description: Currently, Detroit does not have adequate capacity to meet the exiting demand for compost from:

Urban farmers and gardeners
Green infrastructure installations to manage storm water and prevent sewer overflows
Engineered soils for new developments and backfilling demolition sites
Planting of thousands of trees to expand Detroit’s tree canopy (a climate mitigation strategy)

The leaders of FoodPLUS Detroit (FPD) and Georgia Street Community Collective (GSCC), in partnership with Wayne State University Office of Campus Sustainability (WSU), launched a pilot in 2020 to begin diverting WSU’s food and yard waste from landfill disposal to GSCC’s on-farm compost operation. It was an opportunity to demonstrate to university leaders the viability of integrating operating practices at a small-scale and to grow local partnerships.

The success of the pilot gained university leadership commitment to continue and to invest in infrastructure on campus. The two non-profit leaders formed a third entity, ReMark Composting Solutions, to build a stand-alone community-based compost operation to meet WSU’s need, with enough capacity to support other organizations committed to diverting food waste from the landfill to produce compost.

The project goals are: 1) to assess the market for these and other local uses of compost and use the data to inform right-sizing of the production capacity of the community-based compost operation, 2) to determine the amount of food waste that must be diverted from landfill disposal to produce an adequate amount of compost for these uses, and 3) to design and model a compost system and site capable of producing enough compost to meet the needs. ReMark participation in the NextCycle Michigan FLOWS track which helped accelerate demonstration of project viability, refined the vision for hub and spoke model including site selection and operating guidelines, and equipped ReMark to begin development of this replicable model for community-based composting.