Nfld. & Labrador

Farmer using coffee grounds as fertilizer

A Kilbride farmer is using old coffee grounds to fertilize his fields and reduce his greenhouse gas emmissions.

A Kilbride farmer is using old coffee grounds to fertilize his fields and reduce his greenhouse gas emmissions.

Jim Lester has been collecting used coffee grounds from Tim Hortons stores across the Avalon Peninsula for the past two years then composting the grounds with straw. The mixture makes a great fertilizer, he said.

The two-year project has also saved the St. John's area farmer some money, as the price of conventional fertilizer is tied to the cost of oil. 

"Fertilizer will go up again and  we can make use of a resources that's normally wasted, we'll be ahead in the future," he said.

To date, Lester has collected 2,000 loads of coffee grounds from Tim Hortons stores around the Avalon Peninsula - material would have gone to the landfill otherwise, he said.

Store owner Brad Rixmann said his store doesn't see the separating of coffee grounds as an extra cost.

"Having it separted and transported here about offsets the cost we'd be dealing with from the landfill and it's going to a much better use here," he said.

Lester says he's cut down on the use of harmful greenhouse gas emissions caused by fertilizers by about 25 per cent, and he hopes to get that up to 70 per cent in four to five years.

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