Reneé Wallace

Reneé Wallace

Speaker | Remark Composting Solutions

Detroit, MI |

Reneé has the privilege of leading three entrepreneurial entities, Doers Edge LLC (CEO), FoodPLUS Detroit (Executive Director) and ReMark Composting Solutions (Co-Founder & President). She has been a facilitative leader, business consultant and coach for three decades, specializing in development of strategic engagement and execution systems for industry and community-based organizations. Her work includes facilitating engagement of leaders, stakeholders, from public, private, academic and community spheres, with diverse roles, experiences, and perspectives. She is also a leader in service to the Detroit Community through roles as Project Portfolio Manager of FoodPLUS Detroit, participant in the Detroit City Council Green Taskforce community, and lead for the Michigan Organics Council Infrastructure Action Team. Reneé is a Certified Change Manager, Certified Business Process Consultant, Visual Consultant-Facilitator, Participatory Modeling community practitioner, and Strategic Doing Consultant, with a business administration degree in Marketing from Western Michigan University.

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.