Can a Coffee Machine be Recycled?

Coffee machines are fast becoming a kitchen essential for households up and down the UK, with thousands of Brits enjoying the process of making coffee at home.

But what do you do when your coffee machine stops working as it should?

In this guide, we explain how to correctly dispose of your coffee machine, as well as the different methods you could use to repurpose it. 

Can you recycle electricals in the UK?

Yes, you can recycle electricals in the UK. In fact, there are over 5000 points across the UK for you to drop off your old or unwanted electricals to be recycled. 

Many recycling points will repair, pass on or create new things from your unwanted electronics, as long as they are recycled correctly. 

Discarded electricals end up in landfill, which can create huge problems as it means valuable resources are lost forever.

Is a coffee machine recyclable?

Yes, coffee machines are recyclable; generally, coffee machines are classed as E-waste, meaning you cannot dispose of it in general waste bins. 

If you’re not sure what products in your household are E-waste, the general rule of thumb to go by is:

  • If it has a plug for wall sockets, it’s E-waste. 

Can coffee makers go in the recycle bin?

As coffee machines are E-waste, they cannot go into general recycling bins.

Your coffee machine will have to be recycled at specialist recycling centres for proper disposal. 

To find out more on how to recycle your electronics, including your coffee machine, visit the Recycle Your Electricals website. 

How do I dispose of a coffee machine in the UK?

In the UK, you can dispose of your old waste electricals and electronic equipment (WEEE) as it can be recycled for free at local recycling centres. 

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions, then your coffee machine can be recycled: 

  • Does it have a plug?
  • Does it use batteries?
  • Does it use a charger?
  • Does it carry the WEEE logo (a crossed out wheelie bin)?

How to recycle coffee pods

The single use coffee pods used in coffee machines are not usually accepted in your home recycling bins, however, there are some recycling schemes that do exist for these items.

‘Podback’ is a nationwide coffee pod recycling service which was set up and funded by the leading coffee pod systems Tassimo, Nespresso and NESCAFE Dolce Gusto. 

The scheme offers a local drop off service through Yodel, and kerbside collections are available too in some local authority areas. There are currently 11 coffee brands that can be recycled through Podback. 

To find more information on the services available near you, visit the Podback website. 

How to recycle coffee filters

For the most part, you can actually compost your coffee filters, as long as they are standard paper filters without any special coating or additives. The high carbon content of paper filters make them a healthy addition to your compost. 

Don’t worry if you have bleached filters, the chemicals are far-to-minute to have an effect on your soil. 

You can also reuse your coffee filters 2-3 times depending on the sturdiness of the paper. Simply rinse the filter off after each use and leave to dry before you’re ready to brew again. 

How to recycle coffee grounds

One of the most popular ways to recycle and reuse your coffee grounds is by adding them to your garden. They add vital nutrients like nitrogen and potassium to the soil, as well as absorbing heavy metals and attracting earthworms; all of which make a healthy and happy garden. 

If you don’t have a garden, don’t worry, you can still reuse your coffee grounds in different ways. 

Coffee acts as a great natural cleaner, and the grounds can be used as a household scrub for showers, baths and stubborn stains on pots and pans. 

Alternatively, you could use the grounds as a scrub for your body. Simply mix with kitchen staples like honey and oats, for extra boost of caffeine whilst you shower. 

What can you do with an old coffee maker?

We have a few tips if you’re not sure what to do with your old coffee machine. 

Donate it

Donating is a great way to recycle and repurpose your old coffee machine. Make sure it is in working condition before giving it to someone else, whether that be a friend or family member, or charity shop. 

We suggest giving your coffee machine a deep clean before you pass it on. 

Repair it

If you are looking for a new coffee machine because your old one is faulty, then you may want to look if it can be repaired first. There are many shops that will repair appliances for a reasonable price.

If it can be repaired, opt for this instead of buying a brand new one. This can save you a lot of money as you won’t need to buy new. 

Return to manufacturer

Some coffee machine manufacturers will actually take back your coffee machine to be recycled at their facilities. 

To find out if you can send it back to the manufacturer, you could visit their website for more details, contact them or read the manufacturer’s guide that may have come with your coffee machine. 

Upcycle it 

If your filter coffee machine is well and truly beyond repair, you can use the coffee pot as a makeshift ladle or storage pot. 

You could scoop dry foods, pet food or simply use it as a kitchen decoration storing kitchen utensils.

Photo of author

Matt Tomkin

I am an avid tech lover and the journey started back when LCD TVs and Plasma image burn were all too common. Over the years I have sold technology in retail stores but more recently have been building numerous businesses all based around technology. It's great to be able to test new tech and provide my thoughts on a platform like this.