The journey from barista knock box to Alconbury factory
We are often asked how waste coffee grounds make their way from the bottom of a coffee machine to our factory in Alconbury Weald, Cambridgeshire – and the distances covered by our collection routes often surprise people.
We have long-standing coffee waste collections from London’s busiest Network Rail train stations and collect from Costa cafes nationally; and over the last several years we’ve established a network for waste coffee collection from all around London. But recent expansions have seen waste coffee from as far and wide as the Flour Pot Bakery in Brighton, the University of Birmingham, and even Manchester Airport arrive at our factory in Alconbury for processing.
So how is it done?
Wherever possible, we use vehicles that are already on the road – which minimises waste mileage, optimises existing transport routes and hubs, and stays true to bio-bean’s sustainability mission.
One example is Greggs. Greggs delivers products from its distribution centre in Kettering to its centre in Enfield every day. This delivery vehicle used to be empty as it made its way back to Kettering to reload.
But now, this vehicle drops off hundreds of buckets of waste coffee grounds, collected from Greggs sites, at our factory along the return journey back to Kettering. This is known as backhauling waste and in this way, bio-bean receives tonnes of coffee waste daily, while Greggs avoids having an empty vehicle driving on the roads.
Businesses can also make their own arrangements to transport their waste coffee to bio-bean.
New friends of bio-bean, Leeds-based Fitch Brew Co got in touch after realising they produce over half a tonne of waste coffee grounds every month as part of their cold brewing process. They were reluctant to see the coffee sent to general or food waste, and they now transport their coffee waste every month in bulk bags to bio-bean’s factory.
We are able to arrange waste coffee collection from more and more locations, by means of a number of different transportation methods. So if you’re curious about whether you could be sending us your waste coffee grounds, saving money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, get in touch and we’ll do our very best to set it up.
By Julia Porter, Senior Account Manager