Australia’s first kerbside aluminium coffee capsule recycling to begin in Sydney


In an Australian-first, recyclers iQ Renew and CurbCycle will provide 5000 households within the Sydney councils of Mosman and Willoughby with the ability to recycle aluminium coffee pods through their kerbside bins.

Done in partnership with the Mosman Council and Willoughby City Council, these households will receive a specially designed bright orange bag to collect their aluminium coffee capsules in. These bags will then be placed in the recycling bins for collection.

This trial is designed to provide insight into the development of a nation-wide coffee capsule recycling scheme which not-for-profit environmental organisation Plant Ark is set to lead.

“It is great to see this trial occurring and we want to thank all the collaboration partners for making this possible,” says Paul Klymenko, CEO of Planet Ark.

“By providing their communities with the additional option of kerbside collection it will allow more people to recycle their coffee capsules and contribute to creating a circular economy.”

The capsules collected from these kerbsides will be sorted from the other recycling at iQ Renew’s Materials Recovery Facility. It will then be transferred to an existing Nespresso recycling system located in New South Wales where the coffee grounds and the aluminium will be separated.

From here, the aluminium will be sent to aluminium producers for reuse, saving 95 per cent of the energy required to source the aluminium from scratch. The coffee grounds will be sent to a local commercial composting centre.

Danny Gallagher, CEO of iQ Renew says this test will provide a demonstration of how capsules can be collected and sorted, and assess household demand for the scheme.

“While aluminium coffee capsules can already be collected for recycling through store drop-off, post, and bulk recycling boxes, their small size has been an obstacle to recycling in traditional kerbside recycling systems,” says Danny.

“We have looked at kerbside collection systems overseas to see what works and are optimistic that the Curby system of placing them in a bag will allow them to be separated easily in our facility.”

Funding will be provided by Nespresso. Jean-Marc Dragoli, General Manager of Nespresso says that through the company’s experience with developing recycling programs, it has discovered that “convenience is king when it comes to the success of recycling”.

“We need to make it as easy as possible for people to get their used capsules recycled, and we know kerbside recycling is the easiest path. We hope that this increases the amount of capsules we can collect and process for a better future,” says Jean-Marc.

Participation in the trial is limited to 5000 households in the Mosman Council and Willoughby City Council areas. Interested residents can register at

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