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Happy Anniversary, Compost Style

City Councilor Matt OMalley and JP Licks FounderOwner Vincent Petryk in front of coffee roaster and behind bags of coffee grounds for composting
A year ago this week, City Councilor Matt O’Malley (District 6) joined us in our Jamaica Plain World Headquarters to help us launch our new composting program. Councilor O’Malley heads up the Environment & Sustainability Committee and has been working tirelessly to help steer Boston towards being a greener city. So we naturally reached out to him when we decided we wanted to start a new green initiative of our own. Our JP store goes through so much coffee every day and until a year ago, we threw all the grounds away - and then we learned what a resource those grounds actually are! Coffee grounds are considered a green compost (along with things like food scraps and grass clippings) and can be added to a compost bin/pile easily - just dump it in and mix it with brown compost materials (like newspaper and dry leaves). Or the grounds can be used directly as fertilizer - it can me mixed directly into soil which helps improve drainage, water retention, and attracts earthworms and add nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and cooper to your soil. It might also deter slugs, snails, and rabbits (rabbits DO NOT like the smell of coffee!). Acidic loving plants like azaleas, hydrangeas, blueberries, lilies, and root veggies love coffee grounds mulched into their soil as do pine trees (which can really use the added nitrogen this season) but keep it away from your tomatoes!
So now you know how and why to use coffee grounds but where can you get enough to make a difference in your compost pile or garden? That’s where we come in! Instead of throwing away our coffee grounds, we now bag them up (reusing the original bags the whole beans came in) and put them up for our customers - you! - to pick up every Tuesday and Thursday in our JP store. We’re keeping about 75 pounds of trash out of landfills every week - which means almost 4,000 pounds since we started collecting grounds a year ago! And hopefully, your gardens have been blossoming as a result of what you have picked up at the store! Our West Roxbury store also collects their grounds for us to put out in JP and our Coolidge Corner and Mission Hill stores make grounds available as well. Our Andover store will have grounds available again in the spring. Come on in to JP any Tuesday or Thursday and grab a bag - your garden will thank you. And we’re grateful to Councilor O’Malley for helping us launch this program and for continuing to support it. He helps bring awareness to our efforts and he continues to push for curbside compost pick up. So happy one year anniversary, compost style, and thank you for helping our garden grow!