Campaign News


Waste from coffee and poultry provide viable bio-fuel option - 2 Jun 2017

The UK Government has revealed that biomass plants using poultry litter and coffee waste will receive the highest tariffs under new incentives.

Both the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed that combusting poultry litter – a combination of manure and wood shavings from poultry barns – was a “uniquely sustainable” method for farms to power their operations.

While poultry litter biomass has received a boost across the country, using ground coffee waste for a similar purpose is also becoming popular.

Numerous coffee brands, including Costa, have partnered together to turn their coffee waste into bio-fuel. So far, around 15,000 homes have been heated by waste coffee grounds processed by clean technology company, bio-bean, in London alone.

For the first time, bio-bean has expanded its collection route outside of London, and have begun recycling coffee grounds for catering outfits located on the University of Birmingham campus.

Stuart Richards, the University of Birmingham's director of hospitality, said: “With more than 40,000 staff and students based on our campus in Edgbaston we anticipate that around 22 tonnes of coffee grounds are produced each year, so it is great to be able to work in partnership with companies to maximise the use of our waste resources and support our Carbon Management Plan".

Not only is this method good for the environment, but coffee companies will also be able to save money on waste disposal costs whilst reducing emissions by diverting the coffee from landfill.

These incentives come as welcome news, as fears over the effects of woody-biomass come to the fore.
Using truly sustainable bio-fuel such as this will be a far healthier alternative to the plants that are currently chopping down and burning healthy trees in a misguided effort to reach renewable targets.

When wood is harvested and burnt, carbon is released into the atmosphere which creates a 'carbon debt'. Some claim that replanting trees 'repays' this debt, however at the rate at which the carbon is reabsorbed, this is likely to take many decades.

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