May 1, 2013
The plants on Arizona State University's Tempe campus have a little more spring in their step, thanks to the work of two Ground Services employees who are also university students.
Vicente Solis and Rigoberto Polanco are studying sustainable engineering and urban horticulture in addition to starting the program, "Grounds for Grounds." For a year, they collected over 500 pounds of used coffee grounds a week to reuse as fertilizer. The program has diverted a ton of waste from the landfill monthly, saved $900 in waste removal fees, and saved the university $10,000 in fertilizer costs.
“The bulk of the waste is from the four Starbucks and the three cafes that serve Starbucks coffee on the Tempe campus," says Solis. "We worked with partners at Aramark and ASU Facilities Management to develop the program, placing 96-gallon green bins on the Memorial Union loading dock and behind Oasis Café. These bins are filled once a day by Starbucks employees.”