TURNING STARBUCK GROUNDS TO COMPOST

Manila, May 12, 2003 -- A local coffee company has launched a program that 
will recycle waste coffee grounds from its coffee shops for compost making, 
making the product useful to gardeners.

This is the Rustan Coffee Corporation, the official licensee of Starbucks 
Coffee in the Philippines, which has 54 retail stores in the city and in 
the provinces.

The company has recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the 
Department of Environment and Natural Resources in connection with the 
project dubbed "Grounds for Success."

Under the agreement, DENR will provide assistance to Rustan Coffee Corp. in 
the project that is bound not only to reduce waste but will also benefit 
the coffee shops' customers in their gardening efforts.

Noey Lopez, chief operating officer of Rustan Coffee, said that reusing 
coffee grounds in the garden is a way to help reduce the amount of waste 
materials going to our landfill. Coffee grounds combined with other 
compostable materials are free soil amendment that can improve soil quality.

Lopez said that they are giving the coffee grounds to customers and others 
with composting facilities upon request.

When used properly, coffee grounds can act as a green material with a 
carbon-nitrogen (C-N) ratio of 20-1. Combined with leaves and straw, coffee 
grounds generate heat and will speed up the composting process.

In a study in 1995 by the University of Washington College of Forest 
Resources on the composition of Starbucks coffee grounds, it was discovered 
that the coffee grounds have high potassium content at 1204 micrograms per 
gram. Aside from nitrogen, high levels of magnesium and calcium are 
likewise present, both of which help gardens grow. (Bulletin)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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