How can I reuse or recycle spent coffee grounds?

Coffee grounds on a blue plateA suggestion from SaraR:

Hi guys. I’ve got one for you. We drink filter coffee every day at work – a couple of pots a day – and if I remember, I bag up the leftover grounds and throw them on my compost heap at home. But are there any other ways I can reuse or recycle them instead of just dumping them in there? I get such funny looks on the bus on the way home so it would be great if there was some way use them at work too!


Best Suggestions

  • Recycle: Coffee grounds can be composted or put straight on the garden – as a fertiliser and a bug deterrent.
  • See the comments below for more suggestions and ideas

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35 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle spent coffee grounds?”

  1. bev says:

    I know it’s still composting but you could get a little tabletop wormery for work – would save you taking them home. Of course you’d still have to get the compost home if you didn’t use ti for repotting plants in the office..

  2. Crispy says:

    don’t throw them in the compost!! you can put them straight on the garden instead!! spread them around plants, a couple of cms thick, and they eep down weeds and fertilise the soil at the same time. cracking!!

  3. Cathy says:

    I read somewhere that ants don’t like coffee so won’t cross lines of coffee grouns so you can use them for keeping ants at bay.

  4. snapper says:

    you can use coffee as a stain for wood. just stew the old coffee grouns in water for a good wile, a couple of hours at least then you can use the juice to stain wood around the house. i have so me mahogny stained chairs and it’s great for touching up scratces and is a lot easier to handle and smells a lot better than normal wood stain.

  5. Hi,

    These can be commericaly collected. The spect coffee has following chemical properties

    Spent Coffee Waste
    Parameter Value
    Carbon 33.6 %
    Hydrogen 4.2 %
    Nitrogen 1.14 %
    Sulfur 0.03 %
    Moisture 40 %
    Ash 0.66 %
    Oxygen 20.37 %
    GCV 3500 K Cal/kg
    Bulk Density 640 kg/m3 @60% Moisture.

    Since the carbon content is high as 33.6% then these can be dried to 30% moisture content & then can be turned into the powder. Once it turn into the dry powder you can put a binder & compress them to the shape of stones. These can be used to feed in the boiler to genrate steam or hot water which can be further used for the comfort or process heating.



    • dean law says:

      Hi, is there any company out there that would like to buy spent coffee ground? I have source of the material. Hear from you soon.

      • Neil says:

        Hi Dean.

        What sort of volume do you have?

      • David Brock says:


        Can you tell me more about spent coffee grounds? We need about 10 – 20 ton delivered to Boston, MA.

        Can you help?

      • RAUL LARA M says:

        We have spent coffee grounds in Mexico 10 ton every day

      • Sugarbrown says:

        Hi Raul, I want to know what is the reference about spent coffee grounds in Mexico.


      • Sharon says:

        I am interested in knowing how you go about colecting the spent coffee ground product. Could you please give me a litttle information regarding this. Thank you

  6. Rick Szekeres says:

    I recently started recycling the coffee grounds and filters from work (PA DEP), where my co-workers generate abut two pounds of coffee grounds per week. Like SaraR, I take the grounds home on the bus and get strange looks from the other passengers, but no complaints. Currently, the grounds get composted with horse manure donated by my neighbors, but in the future I am contemplating using my spreader to directly apply the dried grounds to my lawn. The coffee grounds are about the same size as commercial fertilizer and just as beneficial. This Fall, I intend to begin collecting coffee grounds from other floors and to start a worm composting bin under my desk using lunch scraps for food and shredded office paper or newspapaper for bedding.

  7. Kania says:

    You can scrub your face with coffee grounds. it works ;)

  8. CliffN says:

    What would be the best way of drying large quantites (30-100lbs) of wet coffee grounds so they don’t mold till you use them?

  9. Chris says:

    I am currently working on using coffee grounds as fuel. I have been agglomerizing
    the grounds to produce small ball shaped pellets that when dried provide an excellent fuel for my pellet burning stove. The problem is the binder … and the ratios … what works best is wheat flour in a 10 to 1 ratio , coffee grounds to flour. Agglomerize, let sit in a warm place for 48 hrs. and burn….they burn at about 10,500. btu / lb white flame ,not smell and everything else is good

    • Katie says:

      Have you thought of using shredded paper as a binder? You can buy a log maker (it squeezes the paper to make logs) off the Internet. Mix the paper with your coffee and hay presto perfect logs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Chris

      How are you gettin on with using coffee as fuel ?

      Please update


  10. dragon says:

    yeah put it in your garden but only on acid loving plants

  11. kittykat says:

    Coffee grounds have a very high oil content. And it’s a high grade oil, I might add. There are scientists working to create bio-fuel with it.
    When I found this out I decided to try an experiment. I mixed coffee grounds with salt and vinegar so it would not mold and put it back in the filter to completely dry out. Then, I mixed it with one tablespoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of cornstarch (for a binder) and packed it all in a clean, empty, 5 oz. tuna can. Then, I added 3 wicks to my strange new
    “candle”. I now have my morning coffee by candlelight. Coffee scented candlelight, no less. It’s a soothing way to start the day, and saves energy. Also, I got to liking this so much that I often have dinner by candlelight. I am currently working on making several of these look nice enough to give out as small gifts to friends and coworkers at Christmas.
    That’s when I got this fantastic idea; add other stuff! Vanilla, anise,
    cinnamon, chocolate……….Too bad you can’t eat these!

  12. g.ranganayakulu says:

    coffee spent self firing temperature ?

  13. G.ranganayakulu says:

    please let me know what is self ignition of coffee spent

  14. Amy says:

    I used to work in a cafe / restaurant and simply sprinkled the coffee grounds in the pot plants

    • Anonymous says:

      you had pot plants in your cafe? … WAHAHAHAAAA!!! ( I know you meant ‘potted plants’, but the way you said it was funny! lol ;) )

  15. Nirosh says:

    i am doing some research about how to use Spent coffee as anima feed. if anybody doing research related to this i would like to discuss.

  16. Melinda says:

    I’ve read about coffee grounds being the medium for growing mushrooms. Check the website at Fungi Perfecti

  17. Ulechka says:

    Scrub dirty pots and pens.

  18. Aakanksha More says:

    the noble ose of coffee spent ground is to repel or to kill mosquito
    its a fact!!

  19. Aakanksha More says:

    the noble use of coffee spent ground is to repel or to kill mosquito
    its a fact!!


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