The town of Oxford has this week joined the likes of Cheltenham and South Derbyshire in partnering with Podback – a kerbside coffee pod recycling scheme collecting both plastic and aluminium pods in a bid to reduce residual waste.
According to Oxford city council, more than a third of coffee drinkers don’t know the pods are recyclable, while 90% have said in recent research that they would like to include their pods in household recycling. Under the new partnership, the council said they could be looking at increasing Oxfordshire’s recycling rate as a county to 65%. Oxford city council says it had a waste recycling rate of 52.6% in to 2019-2020 financial year.
The new scheme also comes at a time where working from home has become the norm in the wake of the pandemic – with a side effect being the amount of household waste has risen significantly.
“With more people working from home and drinking coffee, the expansion of the recycling service to collect coffee pods couldn’t come at a better time,” said Councillor Lubna Arshad, Oxford’s cabinet member for parks and waste reduction
“Our residents want to do the right thing for the environment and recycle as much as possible. The coffee pods will be collected every week for recycling using both our household recycling and waste vehicles.”
Podback is the first service of its kind in the UK, established in a collaboration between Nestle and Jacob Douwe Egberts UK, set up with participating brands including Starbucks, Nespresso, Nescafe and Tassimo. Once coffee pods have been collected, Podback separates them into coffee grounds and packaging. The grounds are then repurposed for soil improver or as fuel for biogas, while the packaging is recycled to make either pellets (if plastic) or everyday objects such as cans (if aluminium).
Oxford’s new scheme is set to begin on 9th August, with Podback providing collection bags to participating residents.