St Albans coffee shop tries new way of recycling coffee grounds

15th April 2018

An independent coffee shop has become the first in the county to adopt a new way of recycling coffee grounds to reduce waste.

Charlie’s Coffee & Company serves coffee and pastries every weekday morning from a van at St Albans Station, as well as running a coffee shop from Tuesday to Saturday on London Road.

The company has now teamed up with clean technology company bio-bean and waste management service Cawleys, who estimate that if each coffee outlet in St Albans served just 20 cups of coffee in a single-use cup it would produce 600,000 kilos of ground coffee waste a year.

Business owner and ‘head bean’ Charlie Powell said: “We now recycle all of our spent coffee grounds. This is a really new scheme in the UK and to be one of the first to be involved is brilliant, let’s hope a few more follow suit and we begin to re-use tonnes and tonnes of coffee grounds.

“Local waste management company Cawleys pick these grounds up from the shop and process them with a great company called Bio Bean who turn waste coffee into bio-fuels.

“One bio-fuel that is created by them are “Coffee Logs” which are amazing for fires to heat your home in the summer. I started selling these Coffee Logs from my shop on London Road in Autumn 2016 and since then have built up an enthusiastic coffee log fan base who have bought them regularly over the colder months.

“My environmental commitments have always been at the forefront of what I do.”

Each Coffee Log is made from the grounds of 25 cups of coffee and contains 20 per cent more energy than wood.

Charlie’s business has won awards for Best Coffee Bar 2009 and Best Cafe 2011. She also won the Kate D’Arcy award for ‘exceptional customer service’.

Coffee waste is a growing topic at the moment, with the Government considering the introduction of a ‘latte levy’ to reduce the issue.

Anna Cawley, director of customer services at Cawleys, said: “We want to encourage every retail outlet, restaurant, cafe, coffee shop and office – essentially any place where consumers enjoy a cup of coffee across Hertfordshire to realise the benefits of coffee recycling.

“Recycling coffee helps reduce greenhouse gases, diverts waste away from landfill and ultimately, gives your latte a useful second life.”