Free Grounds for Your Compost Pile

I'm not much of a Starbucks coffee gal (well, except for an unhealthy love of their insulated metal commuter coffee cups). I'm more of a 7-11 or Dunkin' Donuts coffee drinker. Or better yet, making a pot of my own at home. Still, I'll get a decaf cafe misto from Starbucks when I know the decaf at my usual places will be nothing more than a burnt glob of sludge at the bottom of an orange-lipped coffee pot.

Getting to the point: Starbucks has implemented a "Grounds to Gardens" program, where they're giving away free (free!) bags of used coffee grounds for folks to use in their compost piles. You don't even have to buy coffee from them. The picture you see to the left? That's about forty pounds of wet grounds I picked up this morning while running errands in Austin. All I did was walk up to the counter and ask. Pretty darn cool! If you don't have a Starbucks near you, I imagine your local coffee shop would be happy to collect grounds for you, just for the asking.

[Be sure to read Starbucks instructions on best ratios of grounds to compost, for optimum pile health.]


  1. Oh that is cool! I will have to check it out!

  2. My closest Starbucks actually used to package used grounds in the bags that the coffee beans came in and leave them in a basket for the taking, which was wonderfully convenient. Now they are grumpy and only save grounds if you ask specifically.

  3. @Becca: grumpy Starbucks employees? What is this world coming to??

  4. The Starbucks near my house used to put them out in a metal bucket. Now they don't and I have to ask. Make sure you ask them for the big bag of "pods" from the espresso machines. If you go in the early afternoon they usually have a big bag from the morning and lunch rush and are eager to get rid of it. I make sure to ask for the USED coffe grounds and I usually say "grounds for the garden" and point to the can where they dump them. The employees get into the groove of making drinks and this request usually catched them off-guard.


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