I have never really given much thought to recycling over the years. Who does in Ghana? I do know about climate change and how human activities are slowly impacting upon the environment…negatively. Once i wrote for a newspaper on how to have a green home, my article was named The Green Home appropriately. So about a month ago, after being involved in a #solar energy project, i started giving some thought to how we consume so much food which ends up in landfills or worse in our gutters. The palm-nut soup which is not consumed ends up in the gutter, the kenkey ends up in a landfill (if your dog doesnt like it), the kenkey leaves…same place.

I dont really remember what i was searching for, but i came upon a really cool blog post on the recycling of coffee grounds into garden fertilizer and its not just a recycling project but a business idea. We hardly recycle anything in #Ghana thats why our land-fills are overflowing and becoming health hazards to surrounding communities.  After reading the blog, I thought, ‘why not?’ There are many coffee drinkers in my office and its not instant coffee, mind you. Real coffee beans from Brazillian to Venezualan coffee, which are ground in a wonderful cappuchino machine in our kitchenettte. This machine is cherished by all our coffee drinkers, the last one broke and there was a pall hanging over everyone’s heads for weeks!

Cappuchino/Espresso making machine (cant start the day without this)

And what about the tea-bags? That too. So what will i be using the coffee and tea grounds for? Coffee and tea grounds are an excellent source of phosporous and nitrogen for the soil and when mixed in compost are pefect for driving away pests away from your soil (ants, snails, slugs) and inviting in earthworms (your soil needs earthworms).

So i decided to implement the #recycling of coffee and tea grounds in my office. I first consulted the guidelines provided by Ground to Ground for Collecting Coffee Grounds  in the Office and i also liked their Facebook page and asked some pertinent questions to which i received answers. Awesome! I have bought special bins labelled ‘Coffe and Teabag grounds Only’ , lined it and placed it in our kitchenette. I informed staff to just remove the tea bag label before dumping it in the bin. The label has a staple pin which is not #biodegradable.

Earlier today i checked it and it was full or rich and awesome smelling grounds! I feel like a super cool recycler!! Ok..there was one cup in it. I guess someone missed the label! Sheesh! But these challenges are expected so i wasnt too surprised.

I will be taking my magic fertilizer home and stuff them in my garden soil. It should be happy. There are a growing number of coffee shops in #Accra and can you imagine the amount of precious grounds being thrown out? If you need a business idea, this is one you can think on. Ghana is an agricultural country and our farmers often find fertilizer too expensive, so why dont we recycle food waste by turning them into compost? That would significant reduce landfills in this country. Wanna bet?

2 COMMENTS

  1. hi Shane,
    its going absolutely GREAT! i get about 6kilos of grounds every week! I have been giving it out to natural foods shop owners who are using them in the potted plants in their shops giving out the natural coffee aroma! absolutely thrilled!

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