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Wellington airport to turn coffee leftovers into premium compost

Coffee grounds left over from the coffee consumption of more than six million passengers a year at Wellington International Airport will be turned into premium compost by not-for-profit organization Second Chance.

Wellington airport in New Zealand launched the initiative as part of a wider waste reduction program managed by WeAreYou Sustainable Solutions.

A weekly collection of coffee grounds gets transported to Second Chance’s ZooDoo program, where it is mixed in with other materials to create a premium compost product for sale. Profits raised from ZooDoo support efforts for the prevention of suicide.

Drinking coffee at the airport generates about 18,000kg (39,683 lb) of coffee grounds each year, equivalent to the weight of four adult elephants.

Simon Hart, assistant facilities manager at Wellington International Airport, commented, “So far, it’s working well and this initiative, alongside others, has seen Wellington airport making steady progress toward reducing the waste we are sending to landfill.

“It takes time and a lot of different airport organizations working together to make this a success, but we are really encouraged with the results we have seen so far and the willingness of everyone to take part.”

Marg Smith, ZooDoo’s marketing manager, added, “Adding coffee grounds provides another layer of complexity, enhancing our compost so it’s fantastic for us and for the airport. Coffee grounds are good for the garden - conditioning the soil, helping to deter slugs and snails and attracting and feeding worms.”

Written by Kirstie Pickering

March 8, 2018


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