Ground to Ground

Coffee Grounds and the Western Queens Compost Initiative

Collecting Coffee Grounds for Recycling

Not so long ago, I received an email from Stephanos Koullias from the Western Queens Compost Initiative (WQCI).

I had meant to write a summary about the good work these guys are doing, then had another look at that email and realised I could not do it as well as Stephanos. Quoting from his email:

The Western Queens Compost Initiative (WQCI) works to increase capacity for, participation in, and acceptance of composting in western Queens.

As you probably know, western Queens is one of fives boroughs that make up NYC, and the WQCI works on the waterfront of its western shores, closest to Manhattan. There are 6 CSA (community supported agriculture) groups in the region, and a number of farmers markets, as well as community events that attract a large number of people. There are also a few community events that attract large numbers of people, and include readily compostable food scraps.

We strive to create, support, and reinforce the infrastructure for composting to happen for many of the above. This year alone we’ve salvaged around 1,000 lbs (that 454kg) a week from late May to early November. That’s 13 short tons. Add to that another 10 tons of autumn leaves, so far. For a first year, considering we don’t use motorized vehicles, its been a good year.

This is a great initiative, and I was honoured to be asked to help out with the Ground to Ground coffee logo, and whatever other materials I have here in the site. The WQCI is going to be looking to take advantage of the tonnes of coffee grounds that are discarded to landfill, and turn it into beautiful rich compost.

For those of you that are into composting, you would appreciate the value of those everyday things that can be turned back into earth. All those Autumn leaves blowing around, kitchen scraps, newspaper and cardboard, woodchips, hair, lawn clippings, tea leaves and coffee grounds of course. And it is everywhere. When I see leaves on the road, all I want to do is scoop them into a bag and put them into my hot compost bin.

In a 2009 Economist article titled Fuelled by Coffee, 7 million tonnes of coffee are consumed globally every year. That would be the dry weight, so double it to account for the water that gets added when making the actual coffee. 14 million tonnes is whole heap of opportunity to make a difference. There is plenty to go around, so get involved.

Thank you Stephanos and the WQCI, I’m looking forward to helping out where I can.



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One thought on “Coffee Grounds and the Western Queens Compost Initiative

  1. Pingback: Have Your Latte and Compost it too! on 40 Mums Club | Coffee Grounds to Ground

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