Our coffee packages are designed to preserve optimal freshness. Unfortunately that means that they are constructed of multiple layers of different materials which can be difficult to recycle--and if you toss them in any old recycling bin, they most likely will end up in the landfill.
But our close partnership with Traverse City-based nonprofit Bay Area Recycling for Charities (BARC) means that these coffee bags are actually able to be repurposed as energy, if they are channeled through the proper waste stream.
" If [a coffee bag] makes it in to any one else's recycling bins it will be trash," Jordan Byron from BARC explains. "When we find them in our waste stream, we sort them out and they are recycled. They are [consolidated] and sent to an energy plant in Grand Rapids and burned for energy."
When we reached out to BARC for details, Byron told us that a portion of Grand Rapids, Michigan's energy comes from low-grade plastic or Plasti-Lar (half plastic, half metal/mylar) coffee bags which are burned. The energy output from that burn is stored in turbines and then sent through electrical lines throughout the city of Grand Rapids.
If you want to ensure that your empty coffee bags help fuel a city and do not end up in a landfill, please return them to us and we will pass them along to BARC!