Old container boxes become new urban garden in SW Detroit

Cadillac Urban Gardens, a new urban garden in Southwest Detroit, is turning old industrial shipping crates into new planting boxes.

The community project is using 250 shipping grates from the General Motors' Orion Assembly Plant and turning them into containers for raised bed urban gardens. The raised beds are installed in what was an abandoned parking lot on Merritt Street. The food grown in the garden will be consumed by local residents.

"We were looking for options for these containers compared to traditional recycling," says John Bradburn, manager of waste reduction efforts for General Motors. "They are often shredded and end up in the steel industry. That's good but we wanted to do better."

GM also partners with a number of local companies and organizations, including Ideal Group, Detroit Dirt (which provided the top soil), the Detroit Zoo (animal manure), Astro Coffee (coffee grounds), Marriott Hotel at the Renaissance and GM's Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant (composted food scraps).

"It has really become a multi-functional group effort," Bradburn says.

Source: John Bradburn, manager of waste reduction efforts for General Motors
Writer: Jon Zemke

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