Until recently considered something to throw away, coffee grounds have now become a resource. The Italian company Cattelan Distributori Automatici has launched a program through which coffee waste from its vending machines will be transformed into pellets and soil conditioner for agriculture. The Friuli-based enterprise developed the innovative recycling project in collaboration with the University of Udine and Blucomb, a spinoff project.
Careful research and analysis revealed that used coffee grounds have the perfect consistency for making pellets, as well as have twice the calorific power of wood. Free of heavy metals, they can also be employed in energy production after a process known as pyrolysis turns them into vegetable carbon ideal for agricultural use.
Reusing leftovers from coffee is only the last on a long list of sustainable choices made by CDA, which has already reached energy independence at its headquarters and introduced ecological distribution for its products.