New Brunswick

K-Cup recycling offered by Wheaton's furniture in Moncton

People in the Moncton area now have an opportunity to recycle K-Cups through a local furniture store.

Wheaton furniture collecting used cups and handing them over to Halifax disabled group for recycling

Furniture store seeks to divert K-Cups from landfill through recycling. 2:13

A furniture store is giving Moncton-area residents the chance to recycle K-Cups and help create jobs for people with disabilities in the Maritimes.

Wheaton's furniture has launched a pilot project to recycle the convenient coffee cups and at the same time, create jobs for people who are disabled.

The single-use cups are popular, but the handy coffee pods generate a significant amount of waste.

Garnet Wheaton, the founder of Wheaton's, said he believes that looking for a way to recycle the cups is the responsible thing to do.

We know that K-Cups produce a lot of waste to the landfill, so we've decided to take some action.- Garnet Wheaton, store founder

"We want people to be able to enjoy coffee and enjoy the conversation that goes with coffee. And we want them to be able to do that in an environmentally and responsible way," he said.

"We know that K-Cups produce a lot of waste to the landfill, so we've decided to take some action."

The Wheaton's store in Moncton is accepting K-Cups from any source for recycling. Anyone bringing in 24 used coffee pods will receive a $1 coupon for Mother Parkers coffee products.

The pilot project is taking advantage of a gap in the store's transportation system.

Trucks delivering furniture to Moncton area normally return to Halifax empty. But now, those trucks will haul the collected empty cups back to Halifax.

"We had the transportation system in place to be able to collect and to deliver these cups back to recycling without burning extra fuel," said Wheaton.

"It's all done in a very efficient manner."

Workers at the Dartmouth Adult Services Centre remove the coffee grinds from used K-Cups so they can be used in compost or fertilizer while the plastic cups are recycled. (CBC)
In Halifax, the empty coffee packages are turned over to the Dartmouth Adult Services Centre, where employees break down the cups.

Cathy Deagle-Gammon, the centre's executive director, says it's great employment for adults with intellectual disabilities.

"It's a project that helps our clients to gain skills," she said.

"It's variety in the work that we do and I think the other thing to everybody likes to help contributing to bettering our environment."

The leftover coffee grinds make their way to compost and fertilizer while the plastic cups can be recycled.

"There is absolutely nothing that isn't great about this project," said Deagle-Gammon.

If the pilot project catches on, Wheaton said he hopes to expand the program to all of the company's stores in the Maritimes.


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