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Home-grown ingenuity - be inspired by this Christchurch coffee trailer

Home-grown ingenuity - be inspired by this Christchurch coffee trailer

Parked up at Christchurch’s Halswell Quarry you’ll find Coffee Vice – a chrome coffee trailer manned by owner Paul Wadsworth, offering good coffee and a spot to relax. Quarry View Reserve has a "bin-free, rubbish-free" policy to encourage people to take their litter home with them, but because he’s a responsible business owner, Paul puts out his own bin… to collect used Coffee Vice takeaway cups.


See, Paul has a passion for coffee but he also cares about the waste his business creates and the environmental impact of his trailer. He significantly reduced his environmental impact two years ago when he switched to Ecoware's certified compostable coffee cups and lids. But there was a sticking point: the commercial compost facilities in Christchurch refused to accept compostable coffee cups.


Paul refused to settle for landfill as the only disposal option. Baffled at their stance and knowing composting a product made of trees and corn shouldn’t be that complicated, he decided to try composting the cups in his own backyard. In a number-eight story of Kiwi ingenuity, Paul came up with his own successful three-step process:


He tips all the cups on his lawn, lays them out and removes anything that shouldn't be there (sometimes people throw other things in his coffee cup bin).


Out comes the lawnmower! He mows over the pile of cups a few times, effectively shredding them and turning it into a mulch pile. 


The shredded packaging is added to his compost heap with other organic waste from the property and his trailer, including coffee grinds and food scraps. 10-12 weeks later, the cups have turned into brown, crumbly compost.


Yip, it really is that simple. And if you didn't think Paul could be any more awesome, he gives the compost he produces to a nearby garden. 


It was a trial and error exercise for Paul, but he enjoyed the process and now considers his weekly cup mowing as therapeutic! 


What we like about Paul’s example is that it highlights the simplicity of composting. When you think about it, Ecoware products are plants in another form, which – in the right environment – will naturally break down and return to the earth.


Paul hasn’t stopped here. He is currently working with the park rangers on plans to build a dedicated area for composting so Coffee Vice cups can be composted on-site! 


We admire Paul's integrity and waste minimisation efforts, and hope he is a source of inspiration for other businesses.