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Fuelled by coffee

Caffè Nero and First Mile’s recycling partnership will power homes – and cars – with used coffee grounds
Fuelled by coffee

Caffè Nero and award-winning recycling company First Mile are successfully transforming waste coffee grounds into pellets that can be used in wood burners to heat buildings and, in the near future, biodiesel to fuel cars.

Diverted from landfill

By July, baristas at 122 Caffè Nero stores across Greater London will have helped repurpose 218 tonnes of used coffee grounds. The recycling scheme will create 98 tonnes of biomass pellets, which could potentially power 453 homes.

‘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.’

Chief commercial officer of First Mile

The transformation process from coffee waste to biomass pellet is overseen by bio-bean, and the UK-based site is also exploring refining the oils within the coffee grounds so it can be used as biodiesel in vehicles.

One tonne of waste coffee grounds creates 245 litres of biodiesel, which would fill four cars. At current rates, that means the waste coffee recycled by Caffè Nero each year would be enough to fuel a complete circle of the M25 3,689 times.

A breakthrough concept

Uniquely for a coffee chain, specialist vehicles take the waste from each store and transport it directly 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 taken away via the Thames on barges.

‘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.’

Commercial director of Caffè Nero

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. First Mile collects these each night in its specialist vehicle.

Click here to find out more about First Mile and how it’s helping businesses ‘recycle everything’.

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