How to recycle or reuse Nespresso Pods

If you’re a coffee or espresso lover, you probably already know the convenience of having a single-serve coffee maker like a Nespresso machine. With a Nespreso machine, you just pop in a pod and you’re well on your way to enjoying a fresh and delicious cup of espresso without having to wait in line at Starbucks.

Sure, having a Nespresso machine is pretty sweet, but there are some downsides. All of those Nespresso pods can add up and create a lot of waste, and the cost of the pods can also put a pretty big dent in your wallet.

Fortunately, you can recycle or even reuse your Nespresso pods. The company even has its own recycling program that makes it easier for customers to recycle their used products. When Nespresso receives the recycled pods, they separate the aluminum from the coffee grinds. The grinds are used to create things like compost or topsoil, while the aluminum is used to create new products. Here’s more information.

How to recycle your Nespresso pods

Recycling your Nespresso pods requires a small amount of effort on the part of the customer, but it’s nothing too taxing. You don’t have to empty the coffee grinds, nor do you have to rinse them out. You simply have to make recycling your pods a part of your routine.

On the Nespresso website, you can order a free recycling bag and have it shipped directly to your home. Nespresso will also send a free recycling bag with orders made on its website. Each bag can hold as many as 200 of the original line pods, or 100 of the Vertuo Line pods.

Once you’ve filled your recycling bag, you can drop it off at your nearest Nespresso boutique, waste collection center, or partner store. The company reports that 90% of customers have a recycling solution near their residence, as Nespresso has more than 122,000 collection points worldwide. You can check out the Nespresso website to find a local collection point.

You can also give the bag to the postman when he drops off your next Nespresso order, or bring your bag to your nearest UPS store.

Note that you don’t need a special bag for dropping off your Nespresso pods, just for mailing them in. You can drop off at recycling points with whatever method is convenient for you.

What does Nespresso actually do with pods?

They have a whole video about it! But if you don’t want to watch, here are the basics: The aluminum in the capsules is very easy to recycle with the right techniques and goes toward all sorts of production processes that use recycled metal. The coffee grounds are preserved and used as ingredients for commercial compost and similar products. Pretty neat!

Other recycling options

Note that you may not have to rely only on Nespresso for recycling. Nespresso has been working with cities like New York to help equip their recycling centers to handle Nespresso capsules. In these cases, you can just put your capsules in your recycling bin along with all your other recyclable materials and let your city sort it out – literally.

How to reuse Nespresso Pods

If you want to save a few bucks, you can also reuse your Nespresso pods. Some users say they use their pods twice. The second cup might taste slightly weaker and be a bit more watered-down than the first, but it saves money and reduces waste for a customer who would otherwise throw their pod away. Other customers actually clean, refill, and reseal their Nespresso pods.

You can use your Nespresso pods more than once by filling them back up with coffee grounds and sealing the top. Make sure the pods are completely cool before taking off the foil and discarding the old grounds. Then, rinse out the pods prior to refilling them with fresh espresso grounds. We recommend not filling the pods up to the brim (leave about a millimeter’s worth of space). Wipe off any grounds left behind from the edges of the pod. 

After you finish cleaning, cut a circle of aluminum foil that’s about one centimeter (a little less than half an inch) bigger than the pod. If you need to, you can make a template using a piece of paper first. Now, put the foil circle on top of the ground-filled pod and wrap it firmly around the edge; push down to fully seal the grounds inside the pod. Keep pressing down until you’re content with the fit and your refurbished coffee pods look like you just bought them today.

Now you’re ready to start brewing up an excellent cup of coffee.

DIY projects with Nespresso capsules

There are a surprising number of fun projects that use old Nespresso pods. The more creative coffee lovers out there may enjoy browsing through jewelry, artwork, and other innovative ideas. Here are a few more popular ideas to inspire you.

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