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New environmentally friendly intu Chapelfield shop giving out coffee ground compost for free

PUBLISHED: 17:04 16 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:43 17 August 2018

The bags of coffee ground compost. Picture: KIRSTY SMITH photography

The bags of coffee ground compost. Picture: KIRSTY SMITH photography

KIRSTY SMITH photography

Norfolk gardeners are being offered the chance to give their flower beds a boost this summer, as a Compost Cafe has opened in Norwich’s Chapelfield shopping centre.

The Compost Cafe site in Chapelfield. Picture: KIRSTY SMITH photographyThe Compost Cafe site in Chapelfield. Picture: KIRSTY SMITH photography

The cafe will sell used coffee grounds from cafes and restaurants within the centre, which can be spread on planting to give the soil some extra nutrients.

And to make the initiative all the more appealing, the bags of coffee grounds are free.

It is thought that around a tonne of waste could be redirected out of the retail site each month as a recycled product instead of going to landfill.

Eleven cafes and restaurants have already signed up to the scheme, which was developed by the centre’s environmental services manager, Ryan Marshall.

Mr Marshall said: “We’re constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental impact, and make a positive contribution to the local community.

“The Compost Café initiative ticks both boxes, dramatically reducing our ground coffee waste and putting a smile on the face of local gardeners.

“With the number of retailers we have on board, we’re able to give away around 260 bags of coffee grounds every week. It’s already proving to be incredibly popular, with stocks running out very quickly.”

According to horticultural experts, when mixed with compost, coffee grounds can add nutrients to the soil, prevent weed growth and even deter some pests. The coffee can also increase the acidity of soil, making it perfect for particularly acid-loving plants such as blue Hydrangeas.

An average of 960kg of waste grounds are now being recycled out of the centre every month,

Mr Marshall added: “The initiative means we’re recognising that many waste products can actually be really useful; not only benefitting the environment but helping people to nurture their home-grown fruit and veg too.

“The used coffee grounds would have previously gone into food waste for composting via anaerobic digestion or into general waste, so the Compost Café significantly reduces our truck miles, carbon footprint and our waste costs too. We’re delighted that 11 of our retailers have signed up already, and look forward to welcoming more soon.”

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