We talk a lot about sustainability in all industries but only a few of us are responsive to the idea. Sustainability is becoming a real thing and we need to start taking it seriously. Reground is a specialty waste removal company that helps cafes recycle their ground coffee and deliver it to end users for the purpose of sustainability. The coffee industry is huge and we all have the responsibility to educate ourselves on the subject. Whether you're a roaster, barista, brewer, owner, technician, sales rep or just a coffee drinker we can all change and be a little more sustainable. I asked Owner/Founder Ninna a few questions about Reground so we can all get a little insight into the good that Reground is doing.
1. What made you start Reground?
The first seeds for Reground were planted when I worked for The Brunswick East Project in 2014. I love hospitality but it was never quite enough for me. During that time I had felt a massive need to engage in something bigger than myself, in terms of values. In Denmark I had worked with sustainability for a number of years and when I made the observation of all of the wasted coffee grounds, I just made it my goal to change this particular part of the coffee process. Surely, if I cared enough, someone else would too – and that’s how it started.
2. In the past few years I've noticed the coffee industry move toward sustainability and trying different ways to recycle. Why do you think this is the case?
I think the rising awareness and change in behaviour within the coffee industry is a very instinctive human reaction to the problems of the world we live in. Without sounding too bleak, humanity has a great challenge of steering the ship we’re all on board, in a different direction. I think with all the facts, figures, natural catastrophes around the world – even if you deny climate change to the utmost degree, I think we all naturally and emotionally know something is changing. And as all creatures on this planet have had to do through out time, we need to adapt. It may not be spoken aloud but I think our interest in sustainability is actually trying to adapt to the future we need to live in. And as a climate change threatened industry, I think it is super natural that cafes want to do their bit to help out where they can. I mean, if you are interested in your business’ existence, you kind of have to do your bit to make sure the coffee bean can be grown in 50 years time.
3. How does Reground impact the environment?
Reground is a specialty waste removal company, doing all the in-between jobs that are too small for the big guys and too big for the home gardener. All of the waste we pick up is a 100% zero emission compared to landfill where it would end up and emit 1.2 kgs (Co2 or Methane) for 1 kg of coffee grounds. We only deliver to end users that are actually using the grounds for a sustainable purpose and ideally we want that to be for the benefit of the community. Internally we are committed to being as sustainable and green energy supporting as possible, which means we want to drive electric vans and have zero waste within the business – no paper invoices, our bins are made from recycled plastics ect.
4. Moving forward, what does Reground look like in 5 to 10 years?
My long term goal for Reground is first and foremost that no coffee grounds are being wasted – meaning – all cafes have access to our service or a similar service. We work hard on fostering the behaviour of composting to ensure it is second nature, not just with coffee waste but with all kinds of food scraps in backyards, community gardens and land around us. We need to connect with the full process – not just where our food comes from, but what it has grown in. You cannot grow healthy, nutritious food without healthy soil. The soil becomes healthy from the vitamins and minerals in the food scraps added. We also want to see more technology being applied to these kind of waste resources – we want to see that we can drive cars and build houses from coffee grounds – imagine all the natural resources we would save!
5. Finally, how do you brew your coffee?
Haha – I love coffee ey! Currently I brew on my stovetop or Chemex, depending on what kind of punch I am after. I really enjoy grinding my own beans, it’s almost my favorite part of the process and I have great satisfaction adding my used coffee grounds to my pot plants (they are massive) or in my garden. But really, I drink a lot of coffee out. I just love the people of hospitality and the passion they have for what they do.