Durango coffee company turning grounds into compost

Posted at: 08/22/2013 5:58 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

After buying the Durango Coffee Company a few years ago, Tim Wheeler decided he wanted to turn what some would consider trash into something useful.

He wanted to find a use for their old coffee grounds instead of throwing them away where they'd end up in a landfill.

"There’s a lot of coffee waste produced here and if you throw that all away then that's kinds throwing away the valuable resource," said Wheeler.

Wheeler created the Durango Compost Company, and started feeding the grounds to worms to make compost.

Wheeler teamed up with the native roots garden center to set up a place where the worms could get to work.

The worms digest the coffee grounds and wood chips and the end product is compost. The nursery then sells the compost to customers.

"It's the ingredients, it's using byproducts, clean byproducts, recycling for the area, keeping it in the area. It's win-win and it does a great job,” said Jeri Trausch of Native Roots.

Trausch says the compost is also used in her gardens, and it's made a difference.

"Last year this wasn't near as good as it is last year."

Wheeler says the compost company is his way of helping the environment.

"We’re reusing it in a beneficial way for the community."

The company wants to expand within three years and hopes to produce the compost on a larger scale.