HOW TO RECYCLE KEURIG K-CUPS

Posted on Thu, Jun 05, 2014

*Since I published this post, Green Mountain coffee has introduced the first officially, easily recycled Kcups! I addition, they have promised to convert their entire collection of production lines over to produce ALL recyclable K-cups. 

Click here to learn more about the new line of recyclable K-cup coffee pods!

How_to_recycle_Keurig_K-cups

One of the biggest push back on the use of Keurig K-cups is their environmental impact. I have read many articles on the subject, all of them claiming that K-cups are not recyclable.  I am here to tell you that is simply not true. *Yes, recycling a Keurig K-cup is not the easiest task in the world but, neither is rinsing all of our trash, separating it into the appropriate bins and hauling them to the recycling center. Composting is a daunting feat. Food waste is a constant battle. Saving and reusing paper scraps is a big ol' pain. Re purposing and recycling are not easy but, always the right thing to do. 

There are four components of a Keurig K-cup- an aluminum lid, coffee grinds, a paper filter and last but not least the plastic cup itself.  All of these items can either be recycled and/ or re-used in four easy steps.

First, remove the aluminum lid. Do your best to leave as little behind on the rim of the K-cup as possible.

Recycle_K-cup_aluminum_lid 

Second, remove the coffee grinds and rinse the filter. Coffee grinds have many uses, my favorites are fertilizer for the garden (my strawberries love it!) and homemade body scrubs. 

Reuse_K-cup_coffee_grounds

Next, remove the paper filter again leave as little behind as possible.

recycle_k-cup_filter

Finally, cut the rim off of the top of the K-cup.  Unfortunately, this is the one and only part of the K-cup that is not recyclable. The filter and lid are fused to the plastic to ensure the ultimate freshness for your coffee.  This combination of materials limits the recycle-ability. 

Recycleable_parts_of_a_k-cup

After trial and error I have developed a system that works fairly well for our K-cup recycling process.  I keep a bucket next to the brewer that spent K-cups are tossed in.  Once the bucket is full I process the K-cups in an assembly line like manner.  I then place the separated parts into a jar until enough is accumulated to add to our recycling bins.  The coffee grinds are then scattered on one of our many berry bushes or flower beds. 

Keurig_K-cup_recycling_center2

Generally the whole process takes me well under 10 minutes. Time well spent, allowing me to enjoy my favorite simple pleasure responsibly. 

*Since I published this post, Green Mountain coffee has introduced the first officially, easily recycled Kcups! I addition, they have promised to convert their entire collection of prodcution lines over to produce ALL recyclable K-cups. Bye Bye K-cup recycling station cluttering my countertop!

Purchase recyclable K-cup coffee pods here:>>

Additional resources:

Topics: Keurig K-cup FAQ's

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