AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- A project in Texas is diverting 8 tons of used coffee grounds from landfills in the Austin area monthly, making it available to the public as garden compost.
The Ground to Ground program, a not-for-profit, volunteer-based program established by the Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension Service, has been recruiting businesses to provide free used coffee grounds to local residents, the university reported Thursday.
Currently, more than 20 locations -- coffee houses, restaurants, convenience stores and other businesses -- are taking part in the project, giving 4-gallon re-purposed food containers filled with spent coffee grounds to their customers for them to use as compost for their plants, gardens and landscapes.
"Composting is an important but underutilized part of gardening, and coffee grounds make particularly good compost for plants in the South Central Texas area due to their slight acidity and high nutritional value," said Daphne Richards, AgriLife Extension agent for horticulture in Travis County.
Program coordinators said they hope to expand the program beyond Austin, making it a statewide and possibly a national initiative.
"We're proud of this program and hope others throughout Austin, the state of Texas and beyond will join us in this or similar efforts," Richards said. "This kind of program is easy to maintain and can have broad appeal because coffee is served almost everywhere -- and coffee grounds are a highly useful and practical composting material."