Novocastrians join Australian first coffee capsule recycling pilot

Nov 10, 2021 | Initiatives

Sydney, NSW – Nov/ 10th – 3,000 households in Newcastle will be able to recycle aluminium coffee pods through their kerbside bins in an Australian-first Curby Coffee Capsule pilot. 

With only limited spaces, Newcastle residents can register at or via the Curby App at the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, to participate in the ground-breaking trial.

Householders participating in the trial will receive a specially designed bright orange bag to collect their used aluminium capsules, which they can then place in their kerbside recycling bins for collection. 

The trial is run by Australian recyclers iQ Renew and CurbCycle. The City of Newcastle joins Mosman and Willoughby Councils in Sydney, to be the first Australian councils to trial the scheme. The pilot will provide vital insights to help inform the development of a national coffee capsule recycling scheme that Planet Ark is taking the lead on.

Paul Klymenko, Planet Ark CEO said “it is great to see this trial occurring and we want to thank all the collaboration partners for making this possible. By providing their communities with the additional option of kerbside collection it will allow more people to recycle their coffee capsules and contribute to creating a circular economy”.

Under the ‘Curby’ pilot, the capsules will be separated from other recycling at iQ Renew’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and transferred to the existing Nespresso recycling system in NSW for separating into coffee grounds and aluminium. From here, the aluminium will go to aluminium producers, saving 95% of the energy required to source aluminium from scratch, with coffee grounds going to local commercial compost.

iQ Renew CEO Danial Gallagher said “the trial is proving that we can harvest the Curby bag containing aluminium capsules at the recycling facility and it shows community’s desire for new kerbside recycling solutions using the yellow lidded bin.”

“The number of the bags received at the MRF during the trial so far has been very encouraging and we look forward to receiving even more volume from Newcastle Council householders,” he said.

With funding for the trial provided by Nespresso, General Manager Jean-Marc Dragoli said that the company’s experience in developing similar recycling schemes overseas had shown that convenience is king when it comes to the success of recycling.

“We need to make it as easy as possible for people to get their used capsules recycled, and we know kerbside recycling is the easiest path. We hope that this increases the amount of capsules we can collect and process for a better future,” Mr Dragoli said.