An innovative Austin, TX program is helping keep coffee grounds out of the waste stream by turning them into compost. According to Agrilife Today over 20 coffee shops participate in the Ground to Ground program, offering 20 pound buckets of coffee grounds to customers for use in their compost piles.
"Composting is an important but underutilized part of gardening, and coffee grounds make particularly good compost for plants in the South Central Texas area due to their slight acidity and high nutritional value," said Daphne Richards, AgriLife Extension agent for horticulture, Travis County.
Coffee grounds facilitate the composting of other organic materials. They also provide nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.
In addition to providing good compost material for area gardeners, a founding member of the program believes it will help Austin meet its Zero Waste goals; the city has set a goal of eliminating waste by 2040.
"We don’t have to fill up our landfills with kitchen scraps, leaves, paper, coffee grounds, grass clippings, spoiled food or other organic materials," she said. "We can all work together to turn trash into treasure by putting organic materials to use in practical and beneficial ways, like compost, to increase plant productivity and soil’s water retention."
Food is the most predominant item in the waste stream, but it doesn’t have to be. Composting food waste or sending it to be processed via anaerobic digestion can turn it into valuable fertilizer or renewable energy.
Learn more about the connection between composting and Climate Change.