Making a difference one coffee at a time

Closing remarks

On behalf of the Grounds for Recycling team and all our partners, we'd like to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who has participated in the campaign. It’s been brilliant to have had such a positive response from locals, international visitors, hospitality businesses, the cycling community, and many, many others! We couldn’t have done it without your enthusiasm for sustainable coffee and the drive to reduce food waste to protect our environment.

The bond between cycling and coffee culture has always been a strong one, but this pilot project has shown us the difference that can be made when two communities come together for a common cause.

And what a difference you’ve made! Curious?

Great. Our aim is to publish our Grounds for Recycling findings in late-October, so keep your eyes peeled! We also plan to host an event for the hospitality industry to think about the bigger picture for local businesses later in the year.

Of course, although Grounds for Recycling has officially come to an end, that doesn’t mean that our impact has to! There are still plenty of opportunities for both businesses and citizens alike to get involved for longer term action.

Businesses and citizens can pledge their support to finding innovative ways to repurpose used coffee grounds.

We’ve put together a load of tips, hacks and ideas, all designed to support individuals to reduce their coffee and general food waste in the home.

We’ve also done the same to support food businesses reduce their coffee and food waste, while simultaneously increasing the profitability of their business.

Be the first to receive news, updates and event dates relating to Grounds for Recycling. Membership to the network is FREE.

Grounds for Recycling is an ambitious and creative initiative. It is another impressive example of Glasgow nurturing bottom up collective action to support the transition to a circular economy. The campaign is not only about upcycling spent coffee grounds into productive uses, it is about bringing together the city’s businesses, their staff and their customers and showcasing how reimagining waste as a resource can create community and opportunity. Other cities should watch and learn.  

Sarah O'Carroll, Ellen MacArthur Foundation,
Cities Lead

Grounds for Recycling was an innovative hospitality and tourism led campaign designed to help tackle the industry’s unavoidable food waste. The campaign ran throughout Glasgow this summer (25 July – 13 August), in tandem (excuse the pun!) with the cycling calendar’s biggest event – the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.

As coffee and cycling are two closely linked communities, this campaign saw over 60 of Glasgow’s cycle-friendly coffee hangouts and local roasters join forces to turn used coffee grounds into something better for the planet. Venues who took part included local favourites such as Gordon Street Coffee, The Good Coffee Cartel, SWG3 and Dear Green Coffee, to name just a few.

For the duration of Grounds for Recycling, participating sites saw ALL used coffee grounds diverted from food waste bins.  “Where did they going?” we hear you cry. Well, Glasgow’s very own Botanic Gardens. Not only that, but they were transported there by e-cargo bikes. From there, they are being turned into soil improver to build ecosystems that capture carbon, rehabilitate soil, and support wildlife and biodiversity.

Although Grounds for Recycling has officially come to an end, wider global food waste hasn’t!  There is still plenty you can do to continue the campaign’s ethos.

Having each committed to exploring longer term food waste reduction strategies in the future, why not browse through our participating venues and pay them a visit. You’ll be supporting forward thinking, environmentally conscious businesses, while enjoying that all important quality caffeine hit.

The Coffee Cycle

Glasgow's circular coffee story - from bean, to cup, to something better for our planet - featuring Jenny Graham, fastest women to cycle around the world.


Thanks to

Got a question, suggestion for future related initiatives, or a nugget of info you think we should know about? Then we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch at: 

Learn more about the partners:

Excessive food waste can be so debilitating for businesses and the environment yet with some thought and small effort it can be hugely reduced or avoided altogether.  Grounds for Recycling is, without a doubt, a brilliant initiative for the City of Glasgow and something everyone can get behind.

Tom McDermott, Founder, Sprigg