Caffè Nero Teams Up with Bio-Bean and First Mile to Turn Waste Coffee Into Fuel

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

Caffè Nero has revealed details of a scheme to recycle coffee grounds from 122 of its London stores to make low-carbon fuel.

The scheme, which was formally announced late last week but which has been running since July 2016, sees recycling specialists First Mile pick up coffee waste from Caffè Nero stores and take it directly to coffee recyclers bio-bean’s Cambridgeshire factory to be turned into biomass fuel for boilers and woodburners.

By July 2017 – when the scheme will have been in operation for a full year – Caffè Nero calculates it will have helped repurpose 218 tonnes of used coffee grounds, producing enough fuel to heat 435 homes for a year.

“We are always looking at ways to improve our recycling so we are very excited to be working with First Mile and bio-bean on this initiative and will seek to extend it beyond Greater London,” Matt Spencer, commercial director at Caffè Nero, said in a statement. “We are committed to doing our bit to help address the recycling issues we all face today.”

The coffee giant said its partnership with First Mile allows the waste to be transported directly to bio-bean, rather than via an intermediary depot, helping to avoid 125,000 road miles in the first year of the scheme.

The news of the partnership follows an announcement from Costa in December that bio-bean now receives coffee waste from 850 of its cafes nationwide, amounting to 3,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds annually.

Alongside the production of ‘coffee logs’ for woodburners and biomass pellets for biomass boilers, bio-bean is also working on a system to turn the oils from coffee waste in to biodiesel for vehicles. Experiments suggest one tonne of coffee waste could produce enough renewable fuel to fill four cars.