bio-bean collects waste coffee grounds at every scale, from independent cafés to major coffee chains and from universities to property groups and instant coffee factories.
Our waste management partners (see below) undertake all coffee waste collections on our behalf, and provide everything required for businesses to begin collection such as caddies, bins, refuse sacks, vehicles and the collection service.
This way, we minimise waste mileage and use the expertise of existing waste management infrastructure to organise the logistics of our collection routes.
To join our waste coffee collection route, please complete the form below and a member of the team will be in touch shortly.
Coffee recycling with bio-bean can reduce waste disposal costs for businesses. This is because the costs for waste coffee collection are usually offset by a reduction in the costs of disposing of other waste streams.
Heavy, wet coffee grounds often end up in general waste, which usually goes to landfill. In the UK, a landfill tax (currently around £85/tonne) is levied on landfill site operators, who pass this cost on to their customers via higher collection fees. Removing heavy waste coffee grounds from your waste stream can therefore generate significant savings for your business.
Additionally, waste management companies can charge for contaminated dry mixed recycling, so segregating your waste coffee grounds reduces this risk – especially as coffee is a key culprit for contaminating other waste streams.
bio-bean creates carbon-neutral, advanced biofuels from waste coffee grounds, displacing fossil fuels. Please see our Products page for more information.
Recycling waste coffee grounds also benefits the environment by diverting this waste from other means of disposal – typically landfill, anaerobic digestion (AD), or incineration.
Landfill sites, which is where most waste coffee grounds end up, account for 22% of the UK’s methane emissions, as a result of the decomposition of organic material. Methane is a greenhouse gas 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. bio-bean’s life cycle assessment indicates that sending waste coffee grounds to bio-bean produces 60% less CO2 emissions than sending them to landfill.
While incinerating waste coffee grounds is better than sending them to landfill, it is still not the best use of this resource. From a life-cycle perspective, recycling waste has been shown to conserve on average 3-5 times more energy than that generated from incineration.
Waste coffee grounds are often combined with food waste and sent for AD. However, there are several reasons why waste coffee grounds are not suited to this technology. Their gritty nature make them difficult to handle and their chemical composition can be toxic to the microbes inside the digesters. This means waste coffee grounds can actually inhibit the rate of biomethane production in AD plants. Our life cycle assessment also shows that sending waste coffee grounds to bio-bean produces 30% less CO2e emissions than sending them to AD. This is why we encourage businesses to keep their waste coffee grounds separate from their food waste, and why Biogen – the UK’s leading AD operator – works with bio-bean to divert waste coffee grounds away from their AD plants and towards our facility in Cambridgeshire.
Costa Coffee began sending their waste coffee grounds to bio-bean in June 2016. bio-bean now collects 3000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds a year from over 800 Costa sites across the country.
Before working with bio-bean, Costa used to send its waste coffee grounds to anaerobic digesters. However, bio-bean’s independently verified life cycle assessment shows that sending waste coffee grounds to bio-bean produces 30% less carbon dioxide than sending it for anaerobic digestion. Therefore by working with bio-bean, Costa has helped prevent 360 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, every year. This is the equivalent of planting a forest the size of 95 football pitches.
Since bio-bean does not charge a gate fee for receiving spent coffee grounds, removing this heavy material from Costa’s waste stream has also significantly reduced their waste disposal costs. All the baristas now have to do is make sure they keep spent coffee grounds separate from food waste by using one of the bags provided.
“This partnership will put thousands of tonnes of Costa coffee grounds to work, transforming them from a waste material into sustainable, clean fuels which can heat homes this winter. With our zero energy Eco Pod and the Grounds for Grounds project, we have worked hard to cut carbon emissions and minimise waste, but it is fantastic to move bio-bean forward on their ambition to power cities with coffee. We look forward to developing this partnership in the future.” Oliver Rosevear, Costa Coffee Energy and Environment Manager
In 2016, Vacherin became the first contract catering company in the UK to send zero waste to landfill. An important aspect of their strategy is to ensure every type of waste goes to the most sustainable end-of-life solution. That’s why they send their food waste for anaerobic digestion, and their coffee waste to bio-bean.
In 2016/17 Vacherin recycled 5,028 kg of waste coffee from their sites, roughly equivalent to a quarter of a million cups of coffee. This partnership with bio-bean has cut Vacherin’s waste collection costs and affirms their reputation as one of the most sustainable catering businesses in the UK.
Petersham Nurseries first approached bio-bean having been referred to us by the Sustainable Restaurant Association. Their teahouse and glasshouse restaurant produce around one and a half tonnes of waste coffee grounds a year and they wanted to recycle these grounds with bio-bean – but we quickly realised we could go one step further.
bio-bean now works with our waste management partners to collect Petersham Nurseries’ waste coffee grounds and recycle them into Coffee Logs. This high-performance winter fuel burns hotter and longer than wood and is proudly stocked in Petersham Nurseries’ Garden Shop – giving their recycled waste coffee grounds a useful second life.
This initiative helped Petersham Nurseries reduce their waste disposal costs and create a second profitable product from the coffee sold in their teahouse and restaurant. Petersham Nurseries’ customers can now buy delicious coffee and a great fuel that burns better than wood, safe in the knowledge that less waste is sent to landfill and fewer trees have been cut down.
This scheme is a great example of what’s known as the ‘Circular Economy’ in action. By creating ‘closed loops’ like the one at Petersham Nurseries, bio-bean can help businesses, consumers and the environment by recycling waste coffee into a useful new product.
Kahaila Café is a small, independent “coffee shop with a conscience” on Brick Lane in London’s East End. Working in partnership with waste management company First Mile, bio-bean began collecting their waste coffee grounds in specially provided bin bags in February 2016.
In their first year they filled over 400 of these bags, amounting to two tonnes of waste coffee grounds. This simple kerbside collection routine couldn’t have been easier to implement and requires almost no change on the baristas’ part – they simply keep their waste coffee separate in the bags provided by First Mile.
Recycling waste coffee grounds saves Kahaila money on waste collection and reduces their carbon footprint, which fits perfectly with their ethically-minded approach to business.
Eversheds Sutherland is a large law firm in the heart of the City of London. Its 800 employees drink around 12,500 cups of coffee a month, creating around 500kg of waste coffee grounds. Eversheds Sutherland realised it could reduce its waste collection costs and still help the environment by sending waste coffee grounds to bio-bean. This brought the weight of their food waste down by six tonnes a year.
Since bio-bean does not charge a gate fee for this waste, bio-bean’s service has reduced both the firm’s costs and carbon footprint significantly.
Can bio-bean collect my waste coffee grounds?
Yes! bio-bean collects waste coffee grounds from businesses at every scale, from large transport hubs and office blocks to high street coffee chains, restaurants and small independent cafés. We work with several waste management companies to provide this service. To enquire about waste coffee collection, please fill out the form below or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why should I send my waste coffee grounds to bio-bean?
Because it could save you money. The cost of bio-bean’s service is usually more than offset by the reduction in the cost of disposing the rest of your waste. This means more coffee you make, the more you could save, and you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint in the process.
How much coffee waste do I need to produce to work with bio-bean?
There is no minimum requirement and bio-bean works with coffee waste producers at every scale. However, the company doesn’t currently work with individual consumers.
Does bio-bean provide caddies, bins, bags and skips?
Each of our waste collection partners has slightly different processes and requirements. Please contact either your waste management company or bio-bean directly for more details.
Our waste management partners
If your business doesn’t already work with one of these companies, it is still possible to recycle with us. Get in touch to find out more.