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Coffee Pods

coffee pod; coffee pods; k-cups; disposable coffee pod
Coffee Pods
The best way to enjoy coffee is to not use single serve coffee pods.  Brew coffee in a good old fashioned coffee maker instead.  Single serve coffee pods have a significant negative environmental impact.

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There are many different ways to get a cup of coffee these days. The best , most environmentally responsible way is a large volume of coffee that goes into a cup that’s washed and re-used a thousand times, and the coffee  and paper filter go into  the compost.

The sheer volume of pod waste is staggering. Coffee pods (or commonly referred to as K-cups) discarded in 2011 would have encircled the globe more than six times, and in 2013, more than 10 times. Across the coffee pod industry, hundreds of millions of pounds of pods are thrown in the trash each year in North America.


Due to the single use nature of this product there is very little way to reuse the product after the initial use.


Once you take them apart, single-use coffee pods are accepted at the curb through the Recycle BC residential packaging and printed paper recycling program.
Here is a blog from Recycle BC: Recycling Single-Use Coffee Pods

Coffee pods must be deconstructed to ensure recyclable and compostable material (banned from disposal in the  garbage) are diverted from garbage. Several steps are required to ensure proper disposal for the plastic cup and possibly the foil lid to be recycled and the coffee grounds composted.

The coffee grounds: The coffee grounds can go into your backyard compost or curbside kitchen scraps collection program. Coffee grounds are banned from disposal as garbage as part of the 2015 kitchen scraps landfill restriction.

The coffee liner: There are at least two kinds of liners for coffee pods; a re-useable plastic one and a paper one.  The paper liner can be composted and would be accepted in curbside kitchen scraps collection programs.  The plastic liner is garbage.

The plastic cup: If you recycle through the curbside blue box program, the empty, clean plastic cup can go into your blue box with your other containers. If you live in a multi-family home you can recycle it with your other plastic packaging recyclables.

The foil lid: The foil lid is most likely garbage because it usually has a thin layer of plastic attached to it.  Try tearing it slowly in good light and look for a thin stretch of clear plastic.  If there is no plastic on the foil lid, you may put it in your blue box or with your other foil recycling.  If there is a plastic layer, the foil lid is garbage.


  • CRD Curbside Blue Box Recycling Program

    (pick up service only)

  • Hartland Depot

    1 Hartland Avenue

  • Island Return It, Esquimalt

    935 Ellery Street

  • Island Return It, Sidney

    10025 Galaran Road

  • The Environmental Story

    Coffee pods are a relatively new product on the market. Sales of single-serve coffee—the kind first popularized in the US by Keurig, and widely known as K-cups—have more than tripled since 2011. As of 2013, 13% of Americans drank a coffee made in a single-cup brewer each day, according to a survey by the National Coffee Association Cups alone now account for more than a quarter of the US market for ground coffee.

    Did You Know?

    According to Keurig Green Mountain's website, the company sold more than 30 billion K-Cups between January 2014 and September 2014. In an interview in early 2015, K-Cup creator John Sylvan regrets inventing Keurig coffee pod system: click here for details.

    The CBC has been active in sharing news about the negative environmental impacts of disposable coffee pods: click here for the video.