Buying a coffee in Britain’s biggest and busiest railway stations has just got greener thanks to a new recycling project which is turning waste from coffee shops into fuel and helping cut the cost of running the railway.
Following a successful trial at London’s Victoria and Waterloo stations, Network Rail has signed an agreement with bio-bean – an award-winning green energy company that recycles waste coffee grounds and converts them to advanced biofuels – that will see six of the largest railway stations in Britain all committing their coffee waste to the project.
Between them, Network Rail’s six biggest stations (Euston, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, Paddington, Victoria and Waterloo) generate nearly 700 tonnes of coffee waste each year.
Rather than sending it to landfill, this waste will now go to the bio-bean factory to be converted into over 650 tonnes of carbon-neutral biofuels for heating homes, offices and factories, saving more than 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year. Each tonne of waste coffee grounds creates over 5,700 kilowatt hours of energy, with the 700 tonnes enough to power 1000 homes for a year.
David Biggs, managing director of property at Network Rail, said: “Millions of cups of coffee are bought in our stations every year and that number is growing as passenger numbers continue to rise. This partnership will see the waste from those purchases put to good use, creating biofuels that can be used in vehicles and to heat homes and saving more than 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
“It’s good news that our stations are cutting their carbon footprint while also saving passengers and taxpayers money. The new solution is cheaper than sending the waste to landfill, which means we can invest more in making the railway better for the four million people who travel by rail each day.”
Arthur Kay, CEO of bio-bean said the company would provide a cost-effective disposal solution for waste coffee grounds from the stations included in the agreement. “The UK generates over 500,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds each year, costing the coffee industry almost £80m in waste disposal fees. bio-bean recycles waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels at an industrial scale, creating local, sustainable green energy as an alternative to fossil fuels.”