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GM’s Coffee Recycling Program is Grounds for Sustainability

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GM’s Coffee Recycling Program is Grounds for Sustainability

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Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 3:40pm

John Bradburn is at it again.

GM’s manager of waste-reduction efforts has instituted a coffee grounds recycling program at the Warren Tech Center where his team works, and the efforts have resulted in saving approximately 3,000 pounds of this nitrogen and phosphorous-rich material from being thrown out with the garbage in one year.

Each week, Bradburn and others within GM’s Real Estate and Facilities group remove two 10-gallon buckets of used coffee grounds from the coffee area and take it home to use in their gardens as a substitute for bedding or organic pest repellent. The uses for coffee grounds are many, so nobody wants for a reason to use it.

“I took some of the recycled grounds home last week to use in my vegetable garden,” said Michele Hogan, who works in accounting for John’s team. “They are a great source of nutrients for my green peppers and tomatoes.”
While it might not be as robust as Nestle’s coffee grounds initiative, it is still a great example of taking a major GM sustainability initiative – like going landfill-free – and doing it on a smaller scale.

And if there’s one thing Bradburn can be certain, it’s the amount of java that keeps his team going.

“I never knew our team drank so much coffee,” said Bradburn. “But I suppose it’s one more reason why this is good for the environment.”