Composting With Ground Coffee Waste

Food waste is kept to a minimum at Chiswick and sustainability is paramount. Our focus on creating a sustainable environment at Chiswick and for our local community is imperative. 



Coffee ground waste is a fantastic by-product when it comes to composting in a sustainable manner, improving your garden’s soil and providing excellent nutrients for your plants. Whether you have a small terrace or a large suburban garden, adding compost to your soil twice a year will significantly improve the quality of your plants.


Being a bi-product of your daily ritual, coffee grounds are a free and readily available source of nutrients for the home garden. However, they need to be used in the correct way to give your plants the best possible results.


This rich, reliable and sustainable organic matter is in abundance in almost every suburb across Sydney. Most café owners will be more than happy to help you if you provide them with a sustainable container or bag for storage. Choose to go local and enhance your community relationships by working with those around you!


The coffee grounds are a rich source of nitrogen, an element which is vital for healthy and strong plant growth. It is not recommended to add the grounds directly to the soil. Instead, add them to your existing compost bin at no more than 20% of the volume to ensure quality compost for your plants. Digging the grounds through the compost thoroughly will ensure an even and rapid breakdown.  


Coffee grounds are considered a green element of compost and will need some dry leaves to balance out the moisture. Compost is one of the best ways to improve soil moisture and nutrient holding capacity, the grounds also provide a sufficient boost to the macro and micro-organisms living in your garden. Sprinkling a small amount of coffee ground waste on the top of your plant beds can also deter some unwanted insects and bugs.


Whilst reading this, I hope you’re enjoying your daily brew and are inspired to start composting at home with your coffee ground waste!

- Peter Hatfield, Head Horticulturalist of Chiswick



You can find this article published in The Wentworth Courier.