Ground to Ground - Coffee grounds for the garden

The world drinks a lot of coffee—nearly half a billion kilograms a year. After all those cups of coffee, espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes have been poured, there's a veritable mountain of grounds left behind. The vast majority of it gets tossed into the waste bin and hauled off to landfill.

Ground to Ground is an expanding international program where coffee grounds are collected from cafes and recycled in gardens, rather than being thrown to landfill.

Members of the Food 4 All Network, a local group promoting the development of sustainable food systems and maximising community food ownership, has partnered with the City of Onkaparinga to implement a pilot program in Willunga.

45% of businesses serving coffee in Willunga were already recycling their coffee grounds before the commencement of this program. All outlets approached were excited about this concept and have come on board with Ground to Ground. 

We are encouraging coffee shops to take up a recycling option and:

  • recycle internally (grounds utilised by the store staff)
  • establish a local connection (eg a community garden or school to collect the grounds)
  • make coffee grounds available for members of the community to collect
  • organise an organics recycling collection by a waste management company

Look out for our Ground to Ground logo at participating stores, or click here for a list of their locations and which ones offer grounds for you to collect.

If you are a coffee shop or store that makes coffee and would like more information about the program or how to get involved, contact Lynda Wedding, Waste & Recycling Education Officer on 8384 0666.

Making a difference, one coffee at a time

How coffee can add to your garden:

  • coffee is a great source of nitrogen, a much needed plant fertilizer. The nitrogen in coffee is a kind that needs to break down in the soil before being released so it ends up feeding a slow and steady drip of fertilizer to your plants
  • the nitrogen in coffee nicely balances the addition of "brown" materials (leaves, straw and cardboard) in a compost heap
  • in addition to nitrogen, coffee grounds also contain magnesium and copper in just the right amounts to be beneficial to your plants
  • coffee grounds act as an effective repellent against slugs, snails, ants and cats
  • earthworms LOVE coffee grounds, so do compost worms, so you can add coffee grounds to your worm farm as well!