The Coffee Run
Get involved with an innovative new environmental project! The Coffee Run reuses "waste" coffee grounds from Oxford cafes, transporting them Deliveroo-style to be used as fertiliser in local allotments ☕️ 🚴 🌱
Sign up to get involved with a weekly "run"
Turl Street Kitchen to various allotments around Oxford
What is the Coffee Run?
The Coffee Run is a brand new project started by Oxford Hub and the Oxford Circular Collective this year.
We take "waste" coffee grounds from Oxford cafes to local allotments where they can be used as fertiliser to grow new produce! The Deliveroo-style transportation process involves students cycling between a pick-up and drop-off point in the city, carrying coffee grounds in a bike trailer.
Why does the Coffee Run exist?
Good question!
Environmental issues are big news and they can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. The Coffee Run advocates for sustainability but by tackling a tangible local issue.
On average, we use just 18% to 22% of the coffee bean when we make a cup of coffee - meaning there's a whole bunch of organic waste produced for every Latte Macchiato. Over the course of a week this can add up to over 40kg of waste coffee ground in a cafe, which is normally just thrown into the food waste bin.
Handily, coffee grounds are actually amazingly rich in nitrogen, potassium, magnesium and phosphorous. This makes them great to be used for composting (worms love them) or as fertiliser (there are loads of cool initiatives which use coffee grounds to grow produce - even gourmet mushrooms).
Tell me more about the Oxford Circular Collective!
Glad you asked!
The Coffee Run is a partnership between Oxford Hub and the Oxford Circular Collective. The Collective is a Community Action Group of keen volunteers who implement a viable example of a local circular economy in a carbon-neutral, healthy and fun way. During the design and launch of the Coffee Run, the Circular Collective has used its previous experiences to provide invaluable support and connections to the project - as well as lending us the actual bike trailers we use to shift the coffee!
What else does the Collective do?
  • The Collective offers a bike-trailer collection service for small household items that are no longer needed – reusable or repairable.
  • Items are sorted into the main circular streams: reuse > repair > recycle > upcycle.
  • They can then be delivered back into the “system”, but focusing on local sustainable and socio-environmental reuse, repair and recycling organisations or community action groups.
  • Occasionally the Collective also organises events and workshops, such as upcycling sessions, swap-shops, guest speakers, litter picking, etc.
Find out more about the Collective on their website or by contacting oxfordcircularcollective@gmail.com!
Why volunteer with the Coffee Run?
As if you needed more convincing, here are some of the perks:
  • An opportunity to take action and tackle sustainability issues
  • As well as getting an inside look at local organisations who are already working to have a positive environmental impact
  • A chance to meet like-minded students
  • An excuse to break out of the College/Tesco/lectures "bubble" and get involved with the wider Oxford community
  • The opportunity to take a leading role in shaping a new project, developing skills such as project management and innovation
  • And a worthwhile way to keep active!
Get involved!
We are currently looking for students for the following roles:
  • Coffee Runners: The most obvious way that you can get involved in the Coffee Run is by hopping on your bike! Coffee Runners are responsible for picking up used coffee grounds from cafes around the city and delivering to nearby allotments. You can sign up for pick ups and deliveries as and when suits you, so this is a great way to get involved if you’re already a busy bean!
  • Volunteer Coordinator: The Volunteer Coordinator will be essential to the success of the Coffee Run! Once coffee runners have signed up for pick ups and deliveries of coffee grounds via the google doc on our Facebook page, you will be in charge of making sure everyone is in the right place at the right time. You will also work with the publicity officer to recruit new volunteers and liaise with participating cafes to negotiate incentives for volunteers.
  • Operations Officer: The Operations Officer will ensure that participating in the Coffee Run is as hassle free as possible for all stakeholders, making it easy to persuade coffee shops and allotments all across the city to get involved. You will be in constant contact with coffee shops and allotments to ensure the Coffee Run is running as efficiently as it can, always looking for opportunities to improve our delivery system and minimise waste.
  • Project Brewers: There's tonnes of potential to play a leading role in shaping this project's future. Have you got a vision for what it should look like? Could we expand to other cafes, start cooking up the veg we grow or have a bigger and better environmental impact? We want to hear your ideas!
If you are interested in becoming any of: Volunteer Coordinator, Operations Officer or Project Brewer - please sign-up to get involved here!
Got a question? Just contact coffeerun@oxfordhub.org to find out more!
The Coffee Run
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