Coffee grounds bring new energy to Miami farm

The new project at the school’s farm composts hundreds of pounds of coffee per week. The two students sitting in the car behind the Armstrong Student Center don’t drink a lot of coffee. Shawnee Waters, the grad student behind the wheel, goes through a reusable K-cup maybe once or twice a month. Hanna Gonce, the junior math major riding shotgun, doesn’t drink any caffeine. The ten buckets of coffee grounds in the back seat are more than they’ll make in a lifetime. They’re also business as usual. Waters and Gonce run the Coffee Grounds Project for Miami’s Environmental Health and Safety Office. Every Friday, they collect used grounds from buildings across campus and bring them to the new Miami Institute for Food Farm for composting. Last semester they collected just over 2,000 pounds and they’re on track to beat that total this week. They recently added their first location from uptown and a second car to help gather everything. The composting project is the brainchild of Waters and farm education manager Lauren Wulker. Until last year, the grounds from the campus didn’t go to the farm behind Yager Stadium. A third-party company, Organix, would collect them and bring them elsewhere to be composted. But while many environmentally friendly companies have grown, composting companies have struggled to keep their clients. “The market’s gone way down,” Waters said, adding that Miami...

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