Caffè Nero to convert waste coffee into renewable fuel

Caffè Nero has unveiled plans 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, is a collaborative effort between the coffee chain and the award-winning clean technology company bio-bean.

According to the company, one tonne of waste coffee grounds can create 245 litres of biodiesel, enough to fill four cars.

By July 2017 – when the scheme will have been in operation for 12 months –  Caffè Nero calculates it will have repurpose 218 tonnes of used coffee grounds into 98 tonnes of biomass pellets, producing enough fuel to heat 435 homes for a year.

Matt Spencer, Commercial Director at Caffè Nero, said: “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. We are committed to doing our bit to help address the recycling issues we all face today.”

Caffè Nero’s partner First Mile – a London-based recycling firm – will transport the waste directly to bio-bean’s Cambridgeshire factory rather than via an intermediary depot, helping to avoid 125,000 road miles during the first year of the scheme.

Joe Allen, First Mile’s ‎Chief Commercial Officer, said: “This service marks another step in our ambition to create a world where you can recycle everything. Waste coffee grounds would previously go to incineration or landfill, and it is fantastic to see Caffè Nero embrace this new initiative and start recycling a significant amount of waste coffee. We look forward to supporting a wider roll-out and working with Caffè Nero on other recycling challenges”.

The news follows the announcement from Costa back in December that bio-bean now receives coffee waste from 850 of its stores nationwide, amounting to 3,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds each year.

In addition to the production of ‘coffee logs’ for woodburners and biomass pellets for biomass boilers, bio-bean is now developing a system to convert the oils from coffee waste in to biodiesel for vehicles.

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