England’s Central Bedfordshire Council has become one of the first councils in the region to introduce kerbside recycling for aluminium and plastic drink pods.  

The service, which launched today (29 January), allows residents to recycle used coffee, tea, and hot chocolate pods from the most widely used brands.  

Launched in partnership with non-profit recycling organisation Podback, the new initiative aims to transform the aforementioned pods into new products such as construction materials, cans, and car parts. 

Podback executive director Rick Hindley said: “Recycling with Podback means tonnes of used pods will be removed from the household waste stream every year and the aluminium, plastic and coffee will all be given a new life.” 

Residents can participate in the scheme by signing up via the Podback website at no cost.  

Upon registration, participants will receive Podback recycling bags to collect their used pods.  

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These bags can then be placed out for collection on the scheduled refuse collection days alongside other recyclables.  

For those living in flats, the Podback Drop-Off service is available to facilitate their participation in the recycling effort. 

As part of the free service, coffee grounds are also processed to generate renewable energy in the form of biogas and to create soil improver. 

The initiative aligns with Central Bedfordshire Council’s goal to reduce waste, increase recycling rates, and save resources by repurposing materials. 

Central Bedfordshire Council Sustainability and Climate Resilience executive member and councillor Tracey Wye said: “A staggering 800 million coffee pods were bought in the UK last year and anyone in Central Bedfordshire who does, can now enjoy their flat whites and frothy lattes knowing there is a convenient recycling option.”