Composting in Corktown growing thanks to Tim Campbell

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Tim Campbell owns Midtown Composting, a composting business moving closer to a zero waste Detroit and making healthy, locally grown produce more accessible. Several businesses in Corktown are already using Tim's service and that number is growing. Learn more about Midtown Composting and Corktown's involvement below.

Fast Facts

  • Started in September 2017
  • Goals - to promote the local food economy, put neighborhood people to work, use less energy to transport food, and re-purpose vacant land
  • 45 customers residential and commercial
  • Compost sent to partner urban farms - Brother Nature Produce, Georgia St Community Collective, Fisheye Farm, Greydale Farm
  • In talks with farms to deliver Detroit grown produce to customers in Summer 2018
  • Residential rate = $10 / Month for Weekly Pickup, $5 / Month for Bi-weekly pickup
  • Commercial rate = $10 / Week for 5 to 20 buckets, $5 / Week for 3 Buckets, or $2 / Buckets
  • More than 20 buckets = negotiable rate

Q & A with Tim 

1. What inspired you to start your business?

I have a passion for entrepreneurship. I saw a gap in the system. The leading edge in the modern world is sustainability. There are many restaurants in Detroit that continue to open that want to operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. There are plenty of farms in the city that need compost to make fertile soil for the growing season. I work towards solving the gap in the system and do something I enjoy that I can visually see is making a difference in the world. 

2. What are the biggest benefits for businesses when they start composting?

Social and environmental responsibility. When a business chooses to compost their kitchen waste as well as recycling versus tossing recyclables into the traditional garbage, they are supporting the creation of jobs and development within Detroit's neglected neighborhoods. They are lessening their contribution to the ever growing problem of waste storage in landfills, air pollution from incineration, water contamination, and are joining the ever growing trend of environmental responsibility that Detroit is leaning towards; doing so by modeling other cities in the nation and in the world where sustainability is the norm and in some cases is the law. They are also promoting the sourcing of locally sourced, more nutritious, better tasting produce; an improvement to their food quality. 

3. What are some of your big goals/vision?

My vision is that every residence and business in the city of Detroit is recycling, composting, and buying locally grown produce for at least 9 months out of the year. With a closed loop food and waste system, many of the social and environmental problems could be lessened. With agricultural employment, this now means people who live in neglected, low-income neighborhoods can find a job in their neighborhood versus having to pay for the expenses of owning and operating an automobile to drive to a job that is in the suburbs for a low wage, or having to ride the bus for 2 hours each way to get to a job across town. Many neighborhoods in the city only have the option of unhealthy fried food, fast food, and have grocery stores that stock produce grown in another state that now has to travel hundreds of miles consuming fuel and depleting the nations infrastructure when for most of the year which could be grown and purchased within the city of Detroit. We could reduce the problems of wear and tear on the roads, neighborhood blight, healthy food availability, and put Detroit neighborhoods back on the map. Relevant to Corktown, this is the goal and action being taken by Brother Nature Produce in North Corktown, just across I-75 where most Corktown generated compost is processed. 

4. What makes the Corktown business community special/unique for this service or just in general what do you like about working with Corktown businesses?

The community in Corktown already has a progressive, eco-minded culture in a addition to having a sense of community where everyone knows each other. The sidewalk ordinance on Michigan Ave and physical layout of the neighborhood promotes a very walk able and bike able neighborhood, and encourages sustainable means of transit of relying less on the automobile. Corktown businesses are very hip, creative, progressive minded and engaged to improving Detroit. Restaurants that compost their food scraps are Detroit Institute of Bagels, PJs Lager House, Mudgies, Brooklyn St Local, Lady Of The House, Batch Brewing, and soon to be Cork & Gabel when they open. 

5. How can other Corktown businesses who are interested in this service get connected to you?

If interested in composting, Corktown restaurants and offices (for coffee grounds), can contact us at or call 586-350-7837