Coffee Grounds : Perk up Your Compost Pile More Effectively Than Manure

Coffee grounds seem to be a great alternative to manure for composting all those fall leaf piles. I personally use manure because we have have easy access to a horse that we know is healthy…but for all those without access to a healthy-pooping-animals, coffee grounds is a “hot + longer lasting” alternative:

When coffee grounds made up 25 percent of the volume of their compost piles, temperatures in the piles stayed between 135 degrees and 155 degrees for at least two weeks, enough time to have killed a “significant portion” of the pathogens and seeds. In contrast, the manure in the trials didn’t sustain the heat as long. Science Daily

Worried about PH of the grounds? Well aren’t you smart…there are lots of articles about this out there. But here’s the truth…

Contrary to popular belief, coffee grounds are not acidic. After brewing, the grounds are close to pH neutral, between 6.5 and 6.8. The acid in the beans is mostly water-soluble, so it leaches into the coffee we drink.

You can also work the grounds directly into the soil now in time for spring planting. It takes about 3 months for them to work their magic into the soil. There is even a really technical analysis including nitrogen/phosphorus/potassium levels entitled the “Starbucks Coffee Compost Test“.

So next time you are at a local coffee shop, ask for some “grounds” with your coffee. No need to be shy, Starbucks even encourages you to come in and collect them and may even have them prepackaged and ready to take-out. Which brings us back to you saving landfill and transportation costs by picking these up:

1169261020_starbucksStarbucks alone produces enough coffee waste to equal 4 747’s per year in weight. That material should all be going back into the earth where it belongs, rather than into landfills.

picture-30Starbucks Coffee developed the “Grounds for Your Garden” initiative to reuse coffee grounds, the largest portion of its waste. It’s a year-round program that offers complimentary bags of spent coffee grounds to customers, parks, schools and nurseries for adding to your composter.

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