COMMUNITY | Staff Reporter, UK

Caffè Nero set to recycle used coffee beans into biofuel

In partnership with recycling company First Mile.

The companies are successfully transforming waste coffee grounds into pellets that can be used in wood burners to heat buildings and, in the near future, Bio Diesel to fuel cars. By July, Caffè Nero stores throughout Greater London aim to repurpose 218 tonnes of used coffee grounds in a recycling scheme that will result in 98 tonnes of bio mass pellets, which could power 453 homes.

The transformation process from coffee waste to bio mass pellet is overseen by company bio-bean, and the UK based site is also exploring refining the oils within the coffee grounds into Bio Diesel for use in vehicles. One tonne of waste coffee grounds creates 245L Biodiesel – which would fill four cars. Waste coffee recycled by Caffè Nero each year right now would be enough to fuel a complete circle of the M25 3,689 times.

In addition – and entirely unique among coffee chains – the waste is taken direct from each store via specialist vehicles to bio-bean for processing. In this way, over 125,000 road miles have been avoided in Greater London. 50% of Nero’s London waste is also transported away via the Thames on barges.

The breakthrough recycling concept was first formulated between Caffè Nero and First Mile at the end of 2015 and was introduced in July 2016. First Mile provides Nero with special ‘Coffee Grounds Recycling’ sacks into which baristas place used coffee grounds, then First Mile collects these each night in its specialist vehicle.

Matt Spencer, Commercial Director of Caffè Nero, said, “We are always looking at ways to improve our recycling so we are very excited to be working with First Mile and Bio Bean on this initiative and will seek to extend it beyond Greater London. We are committed to doing our bit to help address the recycling issues we all face today”.

Joe Allen, Chief Commercial Officer of First Mile, said, “This service marks another step in our ambition to create a world where you can recycle everything. Waste coffee grounds would previously go to incineration or landfill, and it is fantastic to see Caffè Nero embrace this new initiative and start recycling a significant amount of waste coffee. We look forward to supporting a wider roll-out and working with Caffè Nero on other recycling challenges”.

Photo credit: Caffè Nero Facebook page

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