Launched nearly 6 years ago, Starbucks started packaging up their used coffee grounds and giving them to consumers to use in their gardens. The Starbucks coffee grounds recycling program is a grass roots effort that was started by customers suggestions. Spent coffee grounds are complimentary upon request at Starbucks retail locations and are available year-round as they are generated. Used coffee grounds are packaged in reused coffee bags and sealed with the Starbucks Coffee Grounds as Compost sticker.
“Coffee grounds can be a valuable source of nutrition for the garden,” said Ben Packard, environmental affairs manager for Starbucks. “At Starbucks, we strive to find innovative and creative ways to positively contribute to a healthier environment. Reusing coffee grounds in the garden is a great way to avoid disposing of this rich resource from our stores.”
To begin composting at home, Black recommends gardeners fill a wooden or plastic bin with a mixture of leaves and other yard trimmings and then mix in coffee grounds and kitchen scraps (no animal products). To help the pile decompose faster, it is important to make sure that the materials are moist (like a wrung-out sponge) but not soggy. Aerating the pile by mixing and turning also encourages the composting process. Compost is ready for the garden when it has fully decomposed into a dark rich soil-like material. A half-inch to an inch of compost on top of the soil feeds plants, prevents plant diseases, suppresses weeds and conserves water.
The proper amount of coffee grounds to be used depends on soil condition and what is being grown in a garden.
Contact a local gardening expert to learn what is best for your region.
Visit your nearest Starbucks to pick up a pack of used coffee grounds for your garden.