Nfld. & Labrador

Tim Hortons coffee grounds are grinding St. John's resident

Leonard Collins says Tim Hortons coffee grounds dumped in a field across from his house are creating an unbearable stink.

Leonard Collins's composting coffee complaint

8 years ago
Duration 2:22
Collins says Tim Hortons' stench from neighbour's farm unbearable

A resident in the west end of St. John's says Tim Hortons coffee grounds dumped in a field across from his house are creating an unbearable stink.

Leonard Collins, who lives on Pearltown Road, said the grounds cover an area the size of a football field, directly across from his property.

Jim Lester, of Lester's Farm Chalet, is collecting the grounds, and plans to turn them into fertilizer.

Collins said he has filled garbage bags with filters that blow onto his land. Clothes that are left out to dry turn brown from the blowing residue. And on dry days, coffee grounds blow through open windows into his house.

Coffee grounds are being dumped on a plot of land owned by Jim Lester on Pearltown Road, to turn them into fertilizer. (CBC)
"[The smell] just lingers around for days, weeks. Especially... when we had the hot weather in July, it was here for the whole month of July," he said.

"You couldn't open the windows, you couldn't sit on the patio — unless the wind changed. If the wind changed, and it wasn't blowing off the field, you could rush and open up your windows and let a little bit of air blow through. But that was it. Other than that, you couldn't have them open."

Collins said something needs to be done about the coffee grounds.

"It got to be in some kind of concrete barrier, or it got to be moved," he said. 

"I don't understand why it got to be dumped on a main road. This is a main road, in front of someone's house. It doesn't make sense to me."

Collins said he contacted Lester about the issue months ago, and he was told that the smell would be gone in a few days — but it has lasted all summer, and now into the fall.

City response

Collins said after a week of trying to reach the city about the issue, officials finally told him that the case is closed.

"Nobody even got back to me to tell me that the file was open, and then it was closed," he said.

Collins was told that the city had investigated the issue, and had come to the conclusion that it's legal for the grounds to be dumped in the area.

"I don't understand how you are allowed to dump hundreds of piles of coffee grounds across from someone's house; it just don't make sense to me," he said.

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