Nespresso Works To Boost Recycling Of Used Coffee Pods

Nespresso is teaming with the New York City Department of Sanitation and Sims Municipal Recycling to encourage New Yorkers to recycle their Nespresso coffee capsules and other lightweight aluminum items.

Earlier in 2019, Nespresso committed $1.2 million to improve the recovery of small aluminum and better allow for the curbside recycling of its coffee capsules in New York City.

In most cities, the size and light weight of such items, including foil and house keys, require that they are divided from other mixed metals using special equipment. With the coffee company’s funding, SMR purchased new technology to better sort and capture these articles, increasing the efficacy of the city’s recycling system.

“We make our capsules from aluminum because it’s a fully recyclable metal and it is an excellent material for preserving the quality of our coffee,” said Guillaume Le Cunff, president and CEO of Nespresso USA.

This collaboration with DSNY and SMR supports New York City’s Zero Waste initiative. It has the potential to reduce the 43,000 tons of aluminum foil and other mixed metals that currently end up in local landfills each year.

Nespresso’s existing dedicated recycling program in the U.S., in partnership with UPS, will continue to be made available across the country. Consumers can bring recycling bags with used coffee capsules to one of 88,000 UPS drop-off locations, or to one of 500 collection points in Nespresso Boutiques and select retailers around the country.

Once capsules are collected via the recycling bag program, they are sent to recovery businesses that separate the aluminum from the coffee grounds to give them a second life. The aluminum is processed and, ultimately, reused to create new products. The coffee grounds are turned into nutrient-rich compost and topsoil.