We know Melbournians love coffee. But, perhaps we’ve become so used to someone else making our morning coffee, that we’ve forgotten where all those coffee grounds go after we’ve enjoyed our morning fix?
Don’t worry, Reground is onto it.
This local enterprise has a simple goal. To divert ground coffee waste from landfill, by helping the coffee industry recycle their coffee grounds. Since launching just over two years ago, they have saved 26 tonnes of ground coffee from landfill!
Ninna Larsen launched Reground in 2014. Her passion for sustainabilty and innovation comes from formative years spent in her native Denmark, where she studied design, culture and economics.
After moving to Australia and becoming part of Melbourne’s coffee industry, Ninna noticed the opportunity for change. ‘I started trialing the Reground service,’ she says. ‘I have always wondered how I could do my bit to contribute positively to our world.’
Ninna’s business partner is Kaitlin Reid, who comes from a background in marketing and media. A year spent in South America (including a stint volunteering in a coffee region) inspired Kaitlin to realign her values and career. She spent some time working with food wastage app Yume before joining Ninna at Reground.
Currently, Reground is servicing 22 local cafes, redirecting their coffee waste into gardens across Melbourne. ‘We work with Brunswick Community Garden, CERES, Rushall Community Garden and other community gardens that have a strong focus on composting and education on gardening’ says Ninna. The pair also connect with a network of passionate home gardeners with productive gardens that thrive due to the addition of potassium-rich coffee grounds in their compost.
So, why add coffee grounds to your compost? According to Ninna, adding up to 30% of ground coffee directly to the soil or to compost is highly beneficial. ‘Ground coffee is close to PH neutral, as all the acidity and oils end up in the coffee you drink, so you’re left with used coffee grounds that are high in nitrogen and potassium, which can lead to improved yield in productive gardens – and ground coffee is a great slug and snail deterrent too!’ she explains. ‘All in all – it’s an organic matter that is meant by nature to end up back in our soils – not in landfill.’
In addition to facilitating coffee ground recycling, Ninna and Kaitlin are also focusing strongly on education, growing awareness of ground coffee as a resource. ‘We are answering the demand for more knowledge and conversation within the coffee industry… to help change the industry as a whole to be more resourceful for the people, businesses, and the planet’.