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Composting Coffee Grounds

coffee groundsEveryone seems to be jumping on the compost bandwagon lately and that's a good thing. Imagine my surprise, during one of my usual lunch breaks spent wandering around stores with my camera, when I saw these bagged coffee grinds in Borders Bookstore.

The sign says, "Free coffee grinds to add to your garden's soil. Plants love it!" How cool is that? Now I know that Starbucks has been doing this for years but it's good to see some other stores following their lead.

And my 4 newly acquired bags of coffee grinds have already been added to one of my compost bins. I think they had some more in the cafe section of the store but I already took a picture of their display and then swiped it so I wasn't going to be too greedy.

I'm not a big fan of putting the grinds directly in the garden as they suggest so of course I composted them. I really have way too many leaves and need to get my piles cooking. Free coffee grinds are a great start. Thanks Borders.


  1. Rachel said...
    Awesome! We have a Borders nearby, so I'll have to look to see if they're doing this, too. Mostly, I just ask for grounds when I stop by local coffee shops. Sometimes, I get big trash bags of it!

    Rachel @ in bloom
    Ayse said...
    By the way, you may want to verify this locally, but our neighborhood Starbucks told me to take all I want, because not enough people take the Grounds for Gardens bags and they end up throwing them out.

    So whenever we have reason to go by there, I will stop in and grab a bag... or all of them. One time my husband left with an enormous trash bag of coffee grounds that they filled up for him from the bins behind the counter.
    Katie said...
    Cool! I hope more companies with disposable waste like this think about offering it as compost.

    Unfortunately, when I was a Starbucks visitor in a previous life, I always saw the grounds in the trash rather than in the garden bins.

    I hope this isn't just a fad!
    OldRoses said...
    I compost my own coffee grounds because I know that they are "plain". What are your thoughts on "flavored" coffees? Do you or would you compost them? Does the flavoring have any affect on the resulting compost? Is it even organic?
    kate smudges said...
    I've collected coffee grounds from our local Starbucks since 2000 - sometimes others get to them before I do, but not often. When I first started asking for them, I'd get these strange looks from some of the staff.

    The worms in my composting bin indoors seem to be dealing well with my coffee grinds ... I try not to add too much at any one time.
    Anthony said...
    I wish I had a deal like that. I'd love a big trash bag full of coffee grinds.

    Another one with a trash bag full of grinds. I'm missing out! :)

    Yes, I found Starbucks grinds to be an iffy situation. Not all stores did it.

    I never thought about flavored grinds, hmmm. I guess they would be okay, unless they were flavored with heavy metals or bleach. :)

    The bags in the picture and the ones available at Starbucks are usually just from espresso, so they're fine.

    I heard that worms love coffee grinds. Let me know how they do in the long run. And I really must get my own worm bin. I'm jealous of you vermipeople. :)
    Greenthumb Guthrie said...
    Great stuff! It's great to know I can go up the street for some grounds, since I don't brew my own. I just found your blog as I am considering a compost pile of my own.

    I linked to your post in my blog--keep up the good work!

    Kristy @ intheweedswithguthrie.blogspot.com
    mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...
    I've also been getting mine from Starbucks for years. We have very alkaline soil here in Austin, so the lawn and roses really seem to appreciate the acidic coffee grounds.
    vagrant aesthetic said...
    I started donating used grounds from IKEA Orlando to our local, organic farmers. Since March 19th I've given away 550lbs.

    We're trying to distribute the grounds to more people but not everyone can get to IKEA so I take what I can to our monthly growers meetings.
    Anthony said...
    Stop considering and start composting! Go for it. Thanks for finding the blog, I hope you come back to visit soon.

    Yes, don't you just love free stuff. I save some grinds for my blueberries because they love the acid too.

    vagrant aesthetic,
    That's great to hear! 550?!? Wow, too bad you aren't in NJ, I would have gladly taken a 550 pound donation. :)
    Dani in NC said...
    I'm glad that I ran across this post. I have been throwing my coffee grounds in my newly-created compost heap, but I was worried that it might not be a good idea. I usually have two pots' worth of grounds a day. Frankly, the grounds and my eggshells make up about 1/3 of my pile. Good to know that I can continue using them.
    Anthony said...
    Hi Dani,
    Coffee grounds and egg shells are great ingredients for compost. Keep up the good work and thanks for stopping by.
    Dani in NC said...
    Do you guys throw in your coffee filters along with the grounds? Sometimes I use coffee pods with my Senseo machine, and I throw the whole pod in the heap.
    OsmoJoe said...
    Very cool! I will have to keep an eye out the next time I'm at Borders.
    Gabe said...
    i just aranged to leave a garbage container or two with a lid at a local shope and theyle stick it in rotation and put it out back for me to collect when full. do you think i can have to much coffee grinds in my soil. ill be giving plenty away to my freinds

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