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This is not Waste: the case of Spent Coffee Grounds

Spent coffee grounds transformed into bio-diesel, fire logs, espresso cups, and used in mushrooms farms.

Photo of Jessica Aguirre
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According with the US Department of Agriculture, the 2016-2017 global consumption of coffee is forecast to a record of 150.8 million bags. Coffee grounds are rich in potassium, magnesium and phosphorous. Spent coffee grounds can be re purposed in many ways. Here are some examples of successful stories:


Bio-bean is a clean technology company that has industrialized the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into bio-fuels.  

Pine Mountain manufacturers the Pine Mountain Java-Log, a fire log made with recycled coffee grounds.

Kaffeeform is a material made with coffee grounds, natural glues, and particles of wood from sustainable sources.  Using a molding process, the material is used in the making of espresso cups.

Manhattan Mushroom Company is a city mushroom farm located in Manhattan. They repurpose spent coffee ground and compost into rich growing substrate to produce mushrooms.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Rethinking Waste. Byproducts are not necessarily synonymous with waste products and they can be used as raw materials in other manufacturing processes.

Tell us about your work experience:

Actively pursuing alternative uses for byproducts, researching, and telling their stories.

This post emerged from:

  • A group brainstorm
  • An Individual


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