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Hounslow Council has partnered with Podback to create a new service around residents recycling coffee pods

by | Nov 14, 2023

On November 14th, 2023, Hounslow council announced the launch of a new service for residents to enable them to recycle used coffee pods. This service has been launched for two purposes, the first is to encourage residents to live more sustainably through making it easier to do this. The second purpose is to reduce waste, increase recycling, save resources and give materials a second life.

This second purpose are some of the reasons why Hounslow Council created a partnership with Podback, as this company supports the previously mentioned aims and offers the Council a way to make their plan possible. Podback is a not-for-profit organisation who have created a place on their website, for the council, where residents of the local area can log on and register to be part of the recycling movement, free of charge.

The next step, once the residents have signed up, is they are sent two rolls of Podback recycling bags, which altogether contain six months’ worth of bags, approximately 26. A set of instructions is also sent with the bags, so that residents know exactly how to ensure their used pods go to the recycling bin. The council and Podback made sure to be inclusive with this movement, taking into consideration residents who live in flats as well as houses. Whilst the method is just as efficient, there is a minor difference in how people in flats would recycle the pods compared to houses. People in houses are instructed to place their bags filled with pods, on the curb next to their recycling boxes, for curb normal waste collection. People in flats should participate by using the Podback drop off service through going to one of the locations which is listed.

After collection, the pods will then be sent to specialist recycling plants, where they will be recycled appropriately. One huge benefit of this system is that the recycled products will be upcycled into new products which can be returned to society and be useful once again. The plastic and aluminium from the pod will be converted into new products, such as beverage cans, automotive components, building products and re-usable plastic crates. On the other hand, the coffee grounds will go through anaerobic digestion and will create renewable energy and soil improver.

Hounslow Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Recycling and Health Integration, Guy Lambert, commented, “We’re excited to be working with Podback, and will be collaborating to ensure residents can enjoy a smooth rollout of the service. And with the reassurance that their used pods will be recycled here in the UK. The Council’s new initiative is a completely free service – and is fully funded by Podback – so residents can sign up at no extra cost. As a Council we are serious about providing innovative solutions that can support our residents to behave more sustainably and this initiative is another step in the right direction.”

The Director of Recycling & Sustainability at Lampton Services, Dan Smyth, added, “We are delighted to be supporting Hounslow Council in driving forward the borough’s sustainability agenda by introducing innovative new recycling solutions. By expanding our offering with the launch of the new coffee pod recycling service, we are putting Hounslow at the forefront of the fight against waste and giving residents another way to recycle more.”

Podback Executive Director, Rick Hindley mentioned, “We know that the most convenient way for people to recycle their coffee pods is as part of their Council’s regular service1, so we are excited to be working in partnership with the London Borough of Hounslow to make that happen.  Recycling with Podback means tonnes of used pods will be removed from the waste stream every year, and the aluminium, plastic and coffee will all be given a new life.”

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