Solid Waste & Recycling Magazine


TerraCycle, Keurig team up for coffee pod recycling pilot

*Editor’s Note: TerraCycle is profiled in the cover story of the August/ September 2014 edition of Solid Waste and Recycling magazine.

*Editor’s Note: TerraCycle is profiled in the cover story of the August/ September 2014 edition of Solid Waste and Recycling magazine.

OfficeMax Grand & Toy has teamed with TerraCycle for a coffee pod recycling pilot project in southern Ontario.

The pilot project focuses on Keurig’s K-Cup Packs, small plastic pods filled with ground coffee that enable the convenience of making one quick cup of coffee.

Until now, the coffee pods have not been recyclable through retailers in Canada, but if the pilot program is successful it is expected to roll out nationally. 

“We launched this program based on the stakeholder feedback that we received from our associates, suppliers and customers who have identified waste and recycling as our most important sustainability issue,” said Serguei Tchertok, sustainability manager for OfficeMax Grand & Toy.

The coffee pod recycling system will come in three different sizes: small, medium and large. The cost of the boxes will be $52.99, $96.99, and $136.99, respectively. The price of the box includes the cost of recycling via TerraCycle and the prepaid shipping label. When the box is full, customers can ship the box directly to TerraCycle for processing. 

“TerraCycle is thrilled that OfficeMax Grand & Toy has partnered to launch Canada’s first K-Cup Packs retailer recycling program,” said Nina Purewal general manager of TerraCycle Canada. Their leadership in helping us eliminate waste speaks to their commitment to sustainability. We are excited to be able to offer a recycling solution to this waste steam to consumers.” 

For more information, or to purchase the recycling system, visit the OfficeMax Grand & Toy website.

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12 Comments » for TerraCycle, Keurig team up for coffee pod recycling pilot
  1. Lisa Diessel says:

    Hugely disappointed with your K-Cup incentive. Primarily the part where I have to pay! I have been working my butt off in an attempt to keep things out of the waste stream. I have been rewarded with a nominal amount of cash, which I can donate to charity. This is not MY waste… it is the waste of others, many of whom do not give a rat’s ass if this stuff ends up in the garbage or not.

    So now, I feel like I’m being told, “Thanks for your help… here’s your bill”. I already have enough financial burden attempting to keep a respectable home, and to provide for my family, while supporting some other global and/or charitable incentives.

    I was behind you guys 100% prior to this promotion. I hope you can come up with a better plan, one that lines up with your other collections. I get that this is an expense for Keurig, but perhaps that should be recognized by Keurig as part of doing business. I do NOT work for a wealthy company. I am a member of a school board, and I give enough effort trying to get a box of pencils for my students, let alone a box made for saving some garbage from a landfill.

    Thank you. Love you guys otherwise.

    Lisa Diessel
    Educator, Town of Bradford, Ontario

  2. Maria says:

    Are you out of your gourds? I was so excited to see there was a news post for k-cups. I have been waiting and looking for a K-cup brigade. I was like “finally , this is awesome!” until I read it and learned I need to pay for a special box. No thanks. And I don’t believe people will pay for this service. Seems like a money grab for Grand and Toy to me. The Keurig company needs to step up and support the reuse of their products waiste.

  3. Tamara says:

    Was impressed to finally see k cup recycling being offered, but quickly saddened by the cost factor. I guess my work/ household will not be participating.

  4. Renee says:

    Extremely disappointed in the cost of the k-cup program. We as the ‘brigade’ members are collecting waste to send to you, which in turns makes you a profit. This is done as a voluntary thing so that we can help support causes that are close to us. Now we have to pay to do that, which means no more ‘profit’ for our charity.I was so excited for both the environmental impact this could make as well as the charity factor. Sadly, I will not be participating in this program either. When you re-evaluate your programs and priorities, perhaps I will consider then….

  5. joan says:

    Remember this is a ‘Pilot project’. So the kinks and bugs should be worked out during the test period. I would assume that you can fit hundreds of empty K-cups stacked into the box so that you would only use one or two boxes per year. At any rate that is how I would design a box.

  6. Dawn Sadler says:

    Like the other responders before me… I went from being excited to utter disappointment that G&T is charging for a box that our non-profit, charitable organization would have to pay for (not in this lifetime!) the “privilege” of recycling the K-cups. We are signed up for TerraCycle and are on the “wait list” for Tassimo cups. This “new partnership” benefits who, exactly? Office Max/G&T??? Terracycle??? Do you really think this is going to fly??? How disappointing… so contrary to what I believed TerraCycle stands for.

    • Gail says:

      I totally agree. I lead an environment club at my school and there is no way we can afford to buy a box for this. So disappointing.

  7. Gail says:

    I to find it unsettling that there is such a huge charge for this service. This will definitely be a deterrent to participation in the program. I lead an environment club at my school and was excited about the possibilities until I saw the cost. I believe the the corporate sponsors should absorb this cost to offset the free advertising it will provide for them. I notice that there have been no replies to the comments posted so far, which speaks volumes to me about the commitment these organizations have to the environment and their customers. Very disappointing.

  8. Linda says:

    I am also very disappointed with the cost of this service. I have been trying to make my coworkers more aware of all the waste generated by all the Kcups they use each day. I admit that I use kcups occasionally but have mostly switched to coffee pods that are just like a tea bag. No plastic to try and figure out how to dispose of. Switch to pods, you can use your keurig and will only have the package each pod comes in to dispose of. We are able to dispose of the pod in our green bin each week which is compost items. Cleaner and simpler. Find a good pod adapter for you keurig and enjoy guilt free.

  9. Sue says:

    Very Very disappointed in this joke!!… pay G&T for boxes?? really??! (could have sworn G&T actually make and sell boxes don’t they??)
    It’s very sad to see that so many people and organizations/schools/churches/companies/individuals are trying hard to find ways to keep these kcups out of our landfills, (why Keurig itself isn’t doing something regarding recycling of their plastic garbage is another question) encourage others to do the same and then donate small earned funds to charity, came here excited to see that a program was being set up… only to be slapped in the face with a huge charge for trying to help our environment…. disgusting.. I am extremely disappointed in all three companies and will now think twice before using or promoting them again. Fix this please, it’s just wrong!

  10. Deborah Dorner says:

    Shame on Keurig for even coming up with the polluting K cups idea! Shame on them for not taking responsibility for the cost of recycling.

  11. Donna says:

    Just heard about this through an article in Canadian Packaging and have to say I too was excited until I learned that I’d have to pay a minimum of
    $56.99 plus tax for a box to collect them in. Until someone comes up with a better solution, I’ll keep throwing mine in the trash, or reusing them for seed pods or some kind of kids craft as I’ve seen on Facebook.

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