Victoria’s Big Build utilises Reground coffee grounds to conserve topsoil quality at Childs Road Upgrade


In a first for Victoria’s Big Build, Reground is sourcing used coffee grounds from cafés across Melbourne’s north to conserve and improve topsoil quality thanks to the Childs Road Upgrade.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio and Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny has welcomed delivery of nearly one and a half cubic metres of repurposed coffee ground compost to the project site in Mill Park, which will nurture the soil and create greener landscaping around upgraded sections of road and shared user paths.

“Coffee grounds are such a valuable resource; we are so pleased to be working with ACE and MRPV to demonstrate how our economy is moving towards true circularity.  This partnership showcases big industry players teaming up with small local businesses to have a huge impact with sustainability first,” says Reground Operations Manager Julian Bettiol.

Used coffee grounds equivalent to just over a quarter of a million lattes will be composted into the road project as the Childs Road Upgrade supports this new and innovative process to divert food waste from landfill, totalling almost 9.5 tonnes.

60 cubic metres of coffee grinds will be mixed with topsoil during landscaping – boosting nutrient levels within soil to give freshly planted seeds and seedlings the best opportunity to thrive.

On their own, coffee grounds are too acidic to be used straight, but once mixed with other organic matter such as topsoil, they make a fantastic compost mix. They feed the soil with their high levels of carbon content, potassium and nitrogen.

As part of the road upgrade, more than 160 trees and 27,500 shrubs will be planted at the site as the project powers towards completion.

This is the first time used coffee grounds are being used on a major infrastructure project in Victoria, with the Childs Road Upgrade project exemplifying the principles of the Recycled First policy.

Reground has sourced the grounds for the project from local cafes, including Tyler’s Milk Bar and Cafe Colores in Reservoir, Drip Drop, Bagels Baby, and Poppy Café in Pascoe Vale and Genovese in Coburg.

“Working with services like Reground demonstrates the role local ingenuity is playing as the construction industry drives this state’s circular economy, paving the way for greener roads throughout Melbourne,” says Major Road Projects Victoria Planning and Environment Manager Mamode Osikoya.

The project is on track to divert 90 per cent of construction and demolition waste from landfill.

The Childs Road Upgrade is due to be complete by the end of 2022. The project is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments.

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