Keurig K-Cup recycling program that turns coffee pods into cement looks to expand

A B.C. program that recycles Keurig coffee K-Cups into cement has been so successful that it may expand into Alberta.

Lafarge plant and Van Houtte teamed up to transform 1.4 million coffee pods into cement last year

Keurig K-Cups are being recycled and turned into cement at the Lafarge plant in Kamloops, B.C. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A B.C. program that recycles Keurig coffee K-Cups into cement has been so successful that it may expand into Alberta.

The Lafarge cement plant in Kamloops, B.C. turned about 1.4 million K-Cups into cement last year, after teaming up with Van Houtte Coffee Services, which collects the used pods for recycling.

"I think we've been fairly successful here," said Eric Isenor, the plant's manager.

"Van Houtte is happy with the program so far and is looking to expand," Isenor said, adding the company may start collecting the used pods in Alberta for recycling in B.C.

The single-serving coffee pods are not recyclable because they are a mixture of materials — coffee grounds, a paper filter, plastic cup, and foil top — that cannot be efficiently separated.

After collecting the used coffee pods, Van Houtte, a coffee service that delivers supplies to offices and retailers around Kamloops, brings them in large bins to the Lafarge plant for processing.

The pods are dried out, shredded and heated to 2000 C to form ash, which is then turned into cement. This in turn forms the foundation for homes and buildings in B.C. and Alberta. 

With files from Farrah Merali

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.