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Coffee Grounds Recycling Program at A&E

April 25, 2015

Part of A&E’s mission is to support sustainable agriculture practices and environmental stewardship. Our enthusiasm for environmentally conscious practices within the business led to the enactment of our Coffee Grounds Program.  A true collaboration, this program is an excellent opportunity for A&E to responsibly dispose of waste while benefiting gardeners within the community.

Coffee Grounds Compost ProgramCoffee Grounds
While A&E recycles everything it can, we also aim to responsibly dispose of coffee grounds. This is done through our Coffee Grounds Program. A&E provides free coffee grounds to customers interested in composting with them. Through this program we are able to recycle roughly 75 percent of our grounds year round, and up to 100 percent during the summer months. As coffee grounds are heavy and potentially expensive to dispose of, a program like this is greatly beneficial in disposing the grounds responsibly as well as involving the local community.

Who: Any A&E Customer

How: Drop off a 5-gallon bucket with your name and phone number at A&E’s Amherst Café. When it is full A&E will call you to pick it up.

Why Coffee Grounds?
Despite common beliefs, coffee grounds are not acid, as the acid in coffee is water soluble, remaining in the beverage and not the grounds. In fact, OSU Extension’s Compost Specialist Program found that coffee grounds are a great addition to a compost pile or garden, helping to sustain high temperatures in compost piles for two weeks, thus reducing the presence of potentially dangerous pathogens and weed seed. In contrast, the manure in their trials didn’t sustain the heat as long. This means that coffee grounds are an excellent and safe substitute for nitrogen-rich manure. Decomposed coffee grounds will improve soil quality and structure. Coffee grounds are an excellent food source for earthworms and attract them to any compost pile or soil that they are used in.

 Methods for Composting With Coffee Grounds:garden

1) Spread grounds on soil and cover with leaves, compost or bark mulch.

2) Cultivate grounds directly into the soil, but be sure to add some nitrogen fertilizer as well. The Nitrogen-eating microbes used in the decomposition of the grounds will grow in the soil, limiting the available nitrogen for the surrounding vegetation. The additional nitrogen in the fertilizer will provide a source of nutrition for the plants to thrive on during this process.

Environmental Initiatives for Wholesale Customers
For those wholesale customers who are interested in partnering with a sustainable-conscience business, check out our programs online.
Environmental stewardship and sustainability are at the core of A&E’s philosophy. These practices improve soil and growing conditions, resulting in better coffee and tea, which is why A&E always buys certified-organic and shade-grown coffees and teas. To learn more about our philosophy and values visit our website or follow our blog

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