Coffee is grown in some of the world’s most fertile regions, and many of the nutrients from the soil remain within the grounds after brewing. Therefore, composting used coffee grounds is an excellent way to infuse your gardening soil with these leftover nutrients.

The Guide To Composting Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds can be added to most compost piles and offers an effective way to increase your compost’s nitrogen content. Nitrogen is one of the three main elements in most fertilizers and is particularly useful when growing green, leafy plants. Grasses, leaves, and many ground covers need nitrogen-rich soil, as well.

Due to its high nitrogen content, coffee composting is a good idea when developing compost to start seedlings in, sprinkle around shrubs or ground cover, or use early in the season before plants produce flowers.

If green growth isn’t your main objective, however, any coffee compost should be well-balanced with compost from other materials. This provides a rounded ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (the three main fertilizer ingredients).

How Can You Compost Coffee?

If you already have a compost pile in your home or garden, simply add coffee grounds to the existing compost each time you brew coffee. Because the grounds break down easily, there’s no special turning required.

Don’t have an existing composting pile? Setting one up is quite simple. Start by ordering redworms, which are preferred by most seasoned composters. Then, combine the worms and some dirt or shredded newspaper in a container or a specific spot in your yard or garden. Finally, add food scraps, coffee grounds, and other biodegradable components as you see fit.

Are Coffee Filters Compostable?

In addition to leftover coffee grounds, used coffee filters can also be added to your composting pile. Although they might take slightly longer to break down than coffee grounds, the worms will still process them without issue. Both bleached and unbleached paper filters can be added to your coffee compost, although some prefer to avoid adding bleached products to their piles.

Composting coffee filters is an effective way to help balance the nitrogen in the coffee grounds. While you may not want to rely solely on filters to provide a well-balanced chemical composition in your compost soil, paper sources like these play an important role.

Can You Add Keurig® Waste to Compost?

Wondering how to compost coffee pods? Just like traditional coffee grounds, the leftover grounds and paper filters found inside Keurig pods are compostable. However, because they are encased in a plastic cup, they require an additional step.

Before you can add Keurig coffee pod grounds to your compost bin or pile, you must separate the grounds and filter from the rest of the pod (including the plastic cup and aluminum top). The easiest way to do this is by using the Recycle a Cup® cutter. This safe and easy-to-use device removes the top of the pod so that you can access the materials within it.

Follow  these instructions to use the cutter:

  1. Place the cutter on top of the used coffee pod.
  2. Rotate one full turn.
  3. Lift the cutter, and the pod’s top will be separated.
  4. Pull out the coffee filter containing the grounds.

Small rotating blades in the cutter effortlessly remove the top of the pod while your hands stay safely protected. Once you separate the cup’s components, you can put the filter and coffee grounds in your compost pile. The aluminum top and plastic pod can be recycled according to your local recycling guidelines. Keep in mind that not all recycling facilities can process the plastic used for coffee pods, so you might need to send your leftover cups to a regional plant.

Can You Compost Sustainable K-Cups®?

Several companies make compostable coffee pods, although these aren’t as widely available as traditional options. If you purchase recyclable coffee pods, the entire pod can be discarded in your compost pile without separating it. However, to ensure your compost breaks down effectively, it’s still best to remove the inner grounds and filter from the cup.

Ready to Begin Composting Your Coffee Grounds? Recycle a Cup® Can Help

Composting coffee grounds is a great way to make your daily brewing more environmentally friendly. The process is simple and only takes a few minutes, so you can help conserve our environment without disrupting your day. All you have to do is brew your coffee, place the leftover grounds in a compost pile or bin, and let them break down naturally! With every cup of coffee you enjoy, you’ll help enrich your soil and lead a greener lifestyle.

If you’d like to start composting your coffee grounds, Recycle a Cup® can help. Contact us to learn more about composting coffee and how our Recycle a Cup® cutter can further streamline the process.