A coffee shop chain that has been successfully recycling the coffee grounds from their Greater London stores is looking to expand the scheme further.
Cafe Nero has been working in partnership with recycling company First Mileand technology company Bio-Bean to improve their recycling since July 2016. They expect to have recycled 218 tonnes of coffee grounds when they reach the first anniversary of the partnership in July 2017.
Coffee Grounds to Bio fuel
Bio-Bean, a bio fuel technology company started by Arthur Kay in 2013, takes waste coffee grounds and processes them into various bio fuels. The left-over grounds are compressed into biomass pellets for biomass burners, or ‘coffee logs’, which can be burned just like normal wood. The company are also considering the possibilities of extracting biochemicals from coffee grounds, and have carried out intensive research into methods for extracting the oils from coffee grounds to process into biodiesel.
The coffee grounds from the shops are collected by First Mile each evening, who provide special recycling sacks for the coffee grounds to be collected in.
A Growing Concern
The large chain Costa also announced that it wasentering a partnership with Bio-Bean in December 2016. They expect to be recycling 3000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds from 800 stores across the United Kingdom in the scheme.
Recycling has become increasingly important to many coffee shops, particularly after they were specifically targeted by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in his Hugh’s War on Waste programme last year. The programme was scathing about paper coffee cups and their extensive use, and in light of this, many coffee shops now have recycling bins for their paper cups.
Cafe Nero has also worked to improve its recycling strategies in general. Last year the company recycled over 154,000 kilogrammes of cardboard from its London stores alone, a staggering amount.
With the ever-increasing popularity of coffee shops, perhaps in the not too distant future, we will be running our cars and heating our homes on the waste products from our daily cup of coffee.