Everyone loves the convenience that the Keurig single-serve coffee maker offers with the K-Cup pod system. Simply pop your favorite single-use coffee pod into the machine, and you have a fresh cup of coffee at the push of a button.
The individual coffee pods are the best part of the Keurig but also the worst. If you drink coffee every morning, that’s 30 empty pods in one month. These empty pods add up quickly if you’ve had your Keurig for a few years.
Say you have had your machine for a few years, and now it doesn’t work anymore, and it is time for a replacement. Now you’ve not only contributed hundreds of thousands of K-Cup plastic coffee capsules to your nearest landfill, but you’re also adding a Keurig machine.
One of the main arguments against getting a Keurig is the waste they create. In the age of wanting to be environmentally friendly, single-use products (like K-Cups) are being phased out.
If you’re concerned about the environmental footprint you’re leaving with your daily Keurig coffee, you’re in the right place. This Keurig recycling and disposal guide will tell you everything you need to know about recycling your Keurig products and how to dispose of any waste safely.
Can you recycle the Keurig coffee maker?
Yes! Believe it or not, there are a few different recycling options for your Keurig once you’re done with it.
If your Keurig still operates correctly, but you’re looking to get rid of it in favor of a newer model, consider dropping your old Keurig off at your local Goodwill or thrift store. Recycling doesn’t always look the same; in this case, you’re giving the machine a second life.
Just make sure your machine still operates as it did when you took it out of the box to ensure the next person to buy it doesn’t just throw it away.
If your Keurig has seen better days and is ready to retire, you can recycle your machine. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as tossing your paper shreds into the recycling bin, as incorrectly recycling your Keurig will result in it sitting in a landfill. Small kitchen appliances, like your Keurig, can be recycled at different recycling locations.
Where can you recycle your Keurig?
Looking for a recycling center that accepts small kitchen appliances can seem overwhelming. But, many major cities offer recycling pick-up. Check your city’s website to see if your city offers consumers a recycle pick-up option.
The other option for recycling your Keurig is finding a recycling center not affiliated with your city. If you’re at a loss for where to find a small appliance-friendly recycling program, check this list to see if one is near you.
Additionally, you can search for “small appliance recycling near me” to find your closest recycling center.
Can you recycle Keurig K-Cup pods?
Yes. As of 2020, 100% of Keurig K-Cup pods are recyclable.
How do you recycle Keurig K-Cup pods?
It’s important to note that only the recyclable coffee pod contains recyclable material, and the aluminum lid needs to be removed before they are placed in the curbside recycling bin. Thanks to Keurig’s new EASY-PEEL lid, there is a convenient tab that makes removing the foil lid a breeze.
In addition to removing the lid from the Keurig K-Cup single-use pod before recycling, the plastic cup needs to be emptied of coffee grounds and rinsed out. Keurig recommends using the leftover coffee grounds as backyard compost to ensure more of the K-Cup is being reused.
What about other Keurig waste?
Keurig K-Cup pods are the biggest concern when it comes to waste, but if you’re really committed to being environmentally friendly, there are a few other pieces of waste you should consider.
How should you dispose of K-Cup EASY-PEEL lids?
At this time, Keurig K-Cup lids are not recyclable. The EASY-PEEL lid was introduced in November 2021 to make recycling the K-Cup pods easier. Ensure these lids are placed in the garbage can as not to litter.
How should you dispose of Keurig Water Filter Capsules?
Water filters can be recycled in most cities. To find out if your city is one of them, check your city’s website to find a water filter-friendly recycling location.
Additionally, you can search for “water filter recycling near me.”
How should you dispose of other Keurig packaging?
Your Keurig will come with numerous packaging inserts to ensure your machine arrives safely to your home. Unfortunately, plastic or styrofoam cannot be recycled in your household recycling bin. Only certain recycling locations will accept these.
To find out if there is a recycling center near you, check your city’s website. If your city does not accept plastic or styrofoam recycling, be sure to dispose of them in the trash properly.
As for the cardboard box, this can be cut up and placed in your regular recycling bin.
Is Keurig bad for the environment?
The Keurig doesn’t have to be bad for the environment, but ultimately the answer to this question depends on you. If you don’t want to take the extra step to ensure the K-Cup pods and packaging are recycled correctly, they can end up in a landfill and harm the environment.
Suppose you’re concerned about the environment’s health and know you’ll ensure your Keurig K-Cup pods and other accessories are being recycled properly. In that case, a Keurig can be environmentally friendly.
Keurig has been taking steps since 2011 to make their products more environmentally friendly – the newest addition to their plan was the EASY-PEEL lids in 2021. From what I can tell, it seems as if Keurig is committed to continuing its pledge to be more environmentally friendly.
How can Keurig users be eco-friendly/zero waste while enjoying the benefits of Keurig?
The easiest way to be an eco-friendly Keurig user is to recycle your Keurig K-Cup pods after each use. You can take another step towards being eco-friendly by finding ways to reuse your old coffee grounds – like composting and gardening.
If you want to cut out K-Cup pods altogether to be zero or low waste, you have the option to use Keurig’s reusable coffee pod. Keurig’s My K-Cup Universal Reusable Coffee Filter allows you to use your own coffee grounds instead of a disposal K-Cup. This way, you can still enjoy the convenience of a Keurig machine without creating additional waste.