Nespresso Invests in NYC to Encourage Curbside Coffee-Pod Recycling

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Nespresso is making it possible for New Yorkers to recycle aluminum coffee capsules via curbside recycling in NYC with a $1.2 million commitment to the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and Sims Municipal Recycling (SMR).

Nespresso, an operating unit of the Nestle Group, sells single-serve coffee capsules and says it has a “deep commitment” to the circular use of its products, choosing aluminum packaging because it both protects the quality of the coffee and can be recycled and reused. The investment will assist SMR in adding the additional technology that is required to improve the efficiency of its non-magnetic household metals recycling process; the equipment will be operational starting in fall, 2019, at which time residents across all five boroughs will be encouraged to recycle Nespresso capsules as well as the 43,000 tons of aluminum foil and other mixed metals that currently end up in landfill each year.

The collaboration will help support the city’s Zero Waste initiative, which aims to contribute zero waste to landfill by 2030, Nespresso says.

Nespresso also offers pre-paid UPS recycling bags in 48 states across the US for users to mail back capsules to be recycled. Recycling bags can be dropped off at one of 88,000 UPS locations. Once the capsules are collected, they are sent to recycling businesses that separate the coffee grounds from the aluminum. The grounds are turned into compost and topsoil, while the aluminum is process and ultimately reused.

In 2015, the National Coffee Association and Statista reported that a third of Americans own single-cup coffee makers, and most of those single-use pods end up in landfill. However, companies are at least attempting to address the issue: Keurig, with 29% of the market share, is working to make all of its pods recyclable by 2020, for example, Consumer Reports points out.

The 4th Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 13 – 15, 2019 in Denver. Learn more here.



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