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Zero waste coffee grounds...

Updated: Aug 25, 2022

Since launching the Beverage Bar in April 2021 we have used over 250kg of locally roasted coffee beans to date. Each kg has been delivered in reusable tubs as part of a closed loop supply system we have with Two Brothers Coffee resulting in zero waste on packaging.

However, we are super proud of another statistic... of the 250,000 grams worth of waste coffee grounds our small beverage bar has produced, 0 grams have ended up in landfill or in the commercial composting network. ZERO GRAMS!!

Before we tell you where that quarter of a tonne of waste coffee ground has gone (the video might give it away), we want to highlight the benefits of using waste coffee grounds at home, making use of something that would otherwise end up taking up space in a landfill or leaving a carbon footprint associated with the transporting and commercial composting of coffee grounds.


Composting coffee grounds at home adds nitrogen to your compost pile and it's as easy as throwing the used coffee grounds onto your compost pile, just keep in mind that they are considered green compost material (like egg shells and vegetable peelings) and will need to be balanced with the addition of some brown compost materials (such as leaves and grass trimmings).


The thing to keep in mind is while coffee grounds add nitrogen to your compost, they will not immediately add nitrogen to your soil, but it does add organic material to the soil, which improves drainage, water retention and aeration in the soil. The used coffee grounds will also help microorganisms beneficial to plant growth thrive as well as attract earthworms.

Many people feel that coffee grounds lower the pH (or raise the acid level) of soil, which is good for acid loving plants. But this is only true for unwashed coffee grounds though. Fresh coffee grounds are acidic. Used coffee grounds are neutral. If you rinse your used coffee grounds, they will have a near neutral pH of 6.5 and will not affect the acid levels of the soil.

Other uses

Many gardeners like to use used coffee grounds around the garden for other things such as:

  • Mixing with other organic material and using as a mulch for plants such as roses, blueberries, azaleas, carrots, radishes, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, cabbage, lilies, and hollies (avoid using coffee grounds on plants like tomatoes, clovers, and alfalfa).

  • Other uses for coffee grounds include using it to keep slugs and snails away from plants, the theory is that the caffeine in the coffee grounds negatively affects these pests and so they avoid soil where the coffee grounds are found.

  • Some people also claim that coffee grounds on the soil is a cat repellent and will keep cats from using your flower and veggie beds as a litter box.

  • You can use coffee grounds as worm food too as worms are very fond of coffee grounds.

  • The use of fresh coffee grounds are thought to suppress weeds too, having some allelopathic properties, of which adversely affects tomato plants.

What have we done with our quarter tonne of coffee grounds?

Well we have several outlets for our coffee grounds!

  • We have a few local neighbours who take small amounts away with them for fertilising and enriching their soil beds (feel free to ask for used grounds too!).

  • Local allotment users take large amounts away with them for their allotment plots.

  • We regularly take coffee grounds home for fertiliser, composting (as mentioned it encourages worms in the compost bins) and mixing in with organic compost for growing our vegetables.

  • Our local flower farmer and florist Andrea (See picture) takes coffee grounds back to her farm after delivering flowers, meaning the coffee consumed from the Beverage Bar helps fuel the flowers grown at The Nectar Bar!

You can checkout this Wikihow page to learn more about using coffee grounds at home!

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