Podback and FCC launch coffee pod recycling

FCC Environment (FCC) and coffee pod recycling scheme Podback have announced plans to roll out coffee pod recycling across household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) in England and Wales.

This expansion follows a successful pilot of coffee pod recycling at 11 FCC HWRC sites in Suffolk operated on behalf of Suffolk County Council and two in Berkshire. 

In the first six months of operations at the Berkshire sites 14 tonnes of pods were collected, showing a clear consumer demand for the service.

The rollout of the Podback service is in progress, with sites across Wigan and Luton due to launch in early July. More locations are set to be announced over the coming months.

Rick Hindley, Executive Director of Podback said: “Our pilots over the last year with FCC have proved successful and have received positive feedback from residents using the service. We hope offering people another option to recycle their used pods will help to make recycling even more convenient and accessible and increase rates of recycling overall in these new locations. We have an active pipeline for local authority wanting to include Podback at their recycling centres and look forward to announcing more soon.”

As part of the rollout, Podback will provide the recycling centres with containers and signage and will manage collection and onward logistics of material to UK based reprocessors. Podback will also support each local authority to launch and promote the new service to residents.

Residents wanting to recycle their used coffee pods through their local HWRC won’t need to use special Podback bags. They simply need to save their pods up at home, making sure to keep their aluminium and plastic pods separate, until they are ready to be dropped off on their next trip. The used pods can then be tipped loose into the relevant container.

Rory Brien, Head of Municipal Treatment at FCC Environment said: “Our focus as a business is always on providing a service that residents want and will use. This has very much been the case with the introduction of the Podback initiative and we are looking forward to widening this to other residents elsewhere in the country.”

Through the Podback scheme, used aluminium and plastic pods are recycled in the UK1.  Aluminium is used in the manufacture of beverage cans and car components, and plastic is used in the manufacture of a range of items, including packaging crates and building products. The used coffee grounds are treated by anaerobic digestion to produce renewable energy (biogas) and soil improver.

Podback will share information on the tonnage and destination of all the pods collected with local authority WasteDataFlow, helping to improve local authority recycling data.

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