In 2013, roughly 10 billion Keurig brand coffee pods were sold. Popularity of single serving coffee makers has grown since then and manufacturers of pods are hesitant to reveal how many are sold annually. It is estimated that the amount of coffee pods, or K-Cups, in landfills could wrap around the planet 10 times! (The Story of Stuff) Imagine all the wasted coffee grounds that could be composted and all the aluminum and plastic could have been recycled into new products.
We love the convenience of coffee pods, but it comes with a cost: coffee pods cannot be recycled through our curbside program and are considered a contaminant.Whilesome brands label their pods “recyclable” that holds true only in select communities with coffee pod recycling programs. Currently, those programs are not operating in our region.
Why can’t I recycle them curbside?
Multiple materials comprise a coffee pod: an aluminum top, paper filter, coffee grounds and a plastic cup. Each material must be separated to be properly recycled, a process too complex for the current technology at standard recycling centers.
Although our curbside program accepts plastic and aluminum, both the plastic cup and aluminum components are too small to be properly sorted at the recycling facility. Anything smaller than 4 inches by 4 inches (like a post-it note size) falls through a screen and is landfilled with other small contaminants and residue.
There is a way!
You can recover your coffee pod aluminum by combining it with other clean aluminum into a ball 4” or larger and place it in your cart.
Compost the coffee grounds and paper for a great soil additive.
Take advantage of the one of several mail-in opportunities. These services separate the plastic and aluminum for recycling and the coffee and filter for composting. Check with the coffee pod maker for a free mail-in program. Terracycle, Recycle A Cup, and Grounds to Grow On also provide this service.
Try another brewing method. Some coffee machines are compatible with a refillable K-cup or coffee pod option. French press espresso makers are capable of making smaller quantities of coffee and require no single use materials to brew.
Check out these recycling tips from previous blogs:
Shopping from the comfort of your home in your PJs is easy. Deciphering what to do with all the packaging that comes with those fabulous purchases is the hard part. Check out these tips to learn how to dispose of online shopping waste wisely.
Looking for ways to reduce packaging from online purchases?
Try filling your cart throughout the week and combining purchases into one weekly delivery. Choose “Frustration-Free” Packaging to reduce extra boxes.
Consider shopping at stores that use thoughtful packaging materials. As this concept becomes more mainstream, the demand will increase and gain popularity!
Choose ground delivery to reduce air travel. This option can save you a bit of money and also reduces the carbon footprint of your package.
Shop at local businesses and bring your own bag or containers.
Check out these recycling tips from previous blogs:
Stuff it with clothes, shoes, towels, sheets, rugs and rags. Any condition is fine. Toys, books and housewares accepted, too.
Set the bag out with your trash and recycling carts (no need to call). Your items will be whisked away and a replacement bag will be tied onto your trash or recycling bin.
Consider donating to a charity first. Donation Centers may be closed at this time, but will be in need of your donations when they reopen. But, if the items are headed for the landfill already, why not simply recycle them curbside? Find a full list ofitems accepted here.
For more information about the program, please visit www.SimpleRecycling.com or contact The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department at 281-210-3800.
Questions or comments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Plastic bags are not an acceptable material in our curbside recycling carts. Many of us choose to reuse the plastic bags that float into our lives, but did you know that most of your plastic packaging can be recycled at a participating store if it is clean and dry? Look for the receptacle near the entrance.
Recyclable Items to Take to Store Include:
Air Pillows and Bubble Wrap
Case Wrap, Pallet/Stretch Wrap
Newspaper and Magazine Sleeves
Bags on Clothing or Electronics
Dry Cleaning Bags
Bread Bags, Produce Bags, Food Storage Bags
Grocery/Retail Bags & Other Film Packages (Check for the How2Recycle label)
Residents are reminded that there will be no interruption or delay of solid waste services over the Fourth of July holiday. Waste Management will provide curbside pickup of trash, recycling and yard trimmings to all residents on their regularly scheduled service day, including Wednesday, July 4, 2018.
For a trouble-free pick-up, please place carts at the curb before 7 a.m. on your regular pick-up day. Keep streets clear of parked cars to allow trucks to safely access carts.
More Important Reminders for Residents:
Per the Holiday Collection Schedule, the only holidays that will affect residential trash and recycling collection this year (2018) will be Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
To schedule a bulky pick-up or report service issues, please contact Waste Management at 800-800-5804 or e-mail email@example.com.