A 'greener' cup of joe

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is another in a series of recycling tips from the City of Covington's Neighborhood Services Department, Solid Waste & Recycling Division.)

COVINGTON, Ky. – First the bad news: Those oh-so-convenient plastic single-serve coffee pods (commonly known as K-cups after the company that trademarked them, Keurig Green Mountain) aren’t accepted by most recycling programs. That’s because most recycling facilities can’t separate the pod into its parts -- coffee grounds, paper, plastic, and foil – and clean them.

So, alas, throw those pods straight into the trash.

Now the good news: You can reduce the excess waste from your morning cup of coffee by:
  • Buying coffee in bulk.
  • Composting your filters and grounds.
  • Using a French press, drip, pour-over, or other low-waste coffee maker (i.e. don’t use a K-cup to begin with).
  • Replacing your disposable paper filter with a reusable plastic basket.
  • Spooning your coffee grounds into a reusable “K-cup” (if you do use a Keurig).
  • Participating in a Terracycle coffee-related recycling program by using its “Zero Waste Boxes” to mail in single-serve capsules (pods) and coffee bags. There are also collection sites where you can drop off your pods and bags.
After all, a morning cup of coffee should be guilt-free.