Nfld. & Labrador

Farmer defends piling up coffee grounds for fertilizer

A farmer in the west end of St. John's is playing down the smell coming from large piles of composting coffee grounds.

Lester's Farm Chalet defends coffee composting

8 years ago
Duration 2:15
Jim Lester defends composting coffee after complaints from neighbours about the smell

A farmer in the west end of St. John's is playing down the smell coming from large piles of composting coffee grounds.
Jim Lester of Lester's Farm Chalet collects coffee grounds from Tim Hortons coffee shops and plans on using them for fertilizer for crops such as pumpkins and cabbages.

Leonard Collins, who lives across from the dumping site, has complained that the grounds cover an area the size of a football field, directly across from his property.

Collins says the odour can be unbearable and often forces him to keep his windows shut to keep the smell out of the house.

But Lester says living near a farm comes with expectations. 

"We are in an agricultural zone and certain agricultural activities do create, for want of a better word, a smell but it's accepted agricultural activity," he said. 

"It's not harmful to your health, it's purely a cosmetic issue."

Lester said that he is willing to meet with Collins to discuss the issue, however he feels that dealing with these kinds of smells is something that comes with living in a farming zone.

Lester said his composting operation keeps a lot of useful waste out of the landfill and helps produce crops with fewer chemical fertilizers.

He said he'll do everything he can to address his neighbour's concerns, but he doesn't plan to move his coffee composting site.


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