News Toronto

City staff to mull coffee pod waste issue

Shawn Jeffords, Political Bureau Chief

By Shawn Jeffords, Political Bureau Chief

(Postmedia Network files)

(Postmedia Network files)

City staff will tackle the brewing problem of single serve coffee pods piling up in landfills.

The Public Works Committee asked staff to investigate how Toronto might recycle both compostable and plastic coffee pods. At the moment, neither can be accepted in green bins or blue boxes. But if Councillor Jaye Robinson has her way, that will change.

“I’ve asked staff to look at best practices so we can look at the problems and impacts and how we can do a better job here,” she said Tuesday.

Currently, compostable pods can’t be accepted in Toronto green bins because the compost method the city uses won’t break down the materials. They can, however, still be placed in a backyard compost bin. Plastic pods, which are the majority on the market, have to go into the garbage.

Some studies estimate that the single-serve coffee industry has grown so popular that one in every four homes in the U.S. has one of the brewers. Robinson says the numbers are believed to be comparable in Canada, so Toronto needs to figure out a solution.

“It’s a growing issue,” she said. “It has serious environmental impacts.”

Staff will huddle up with industry experts and report back to the committee by the middle of next year with potential solutions.

“They need a bit of time to do consultation and legwork but it’s on their radar now,” Robinson said.

sjeffords@postmedia.com