Campus Coffee Grounds Recycled In University Of Birmingham Pilot

The University of Birmingham has become the first place outside London to work with waste coffee recycling company bio-bean to recycle spent coffee grounds from catering outlets across its campus. 

In collaboration with waste management companies, including First Mile, bio-bean’s collection and recycling services will now be available to coffee shops, office blocks and other business that produce coffee waste all over Birmingham.

The agreement was signed at the end of April and the first weekly collection of waste coffee grounds took place at the University on 5 May.

The scheme is a 12 month pilot and will be reviewed at the end of the initial period.

“We are also exploring selling the coffee logs bio bean produce in our own botanical garden, Winterbourne House and Garden, to close the loop on coffee.”

Peter Larkin, Policy and Environmental Services Manager at the University of Birmingham said: “As the first University to join the scheme this is very exciting for us and we are hoping to kick start more interest in the City from other Universities, hospitals and coffee retailers to extend the collection round for First Mile, thus making it more viable and economies of scale can be shared.

“We are also exploring selling the coffee logs bio bean produce in our own botanical garden, Winterbourne House and Garden, to close the loop on coffee.”

The spent coffee grounds will be taken to bio-bean’s world-first coffee recycling facility in Cambridgeshire and will be processed into biofuels like Coffee Logs for consumers, coffee pellets for industrial use, and natural oils to replace harmful chemicals.

Stuart Richards, Director of Hospitality and Accommodation Services, University of Birmingham said: “With more than 40,000 staff and students based on our campus in Edgbaston we anticipate that around 22 tonnes of coffee grounds are produced each year so it is great to be able to work in partnership with companies like bio-bean and First Mile to maximise the use of our waste resources and support our Carbon Management Plan.

“This relationship will further promote jobs, skills and innovation in the West Midlands and we are very excited to be the first university to partner with them.”

The University of Birmingham were awarded Best Recycling Project at the CIWM Sustainability & Resource Awards.


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