Which Cart for Coffee Pods?


When it comes to figuring out which cart coffee pods belong (think Keurig cups), it might seem like they could go in any of the green, blue or black carts.

So which cart is the correct cart for coffee pods?

We wish the answer was simple, but as it happens coffee pods are one of those tricky items — some are labelled compostable, and some are labelled recyclable, while some are neither.


  • Compost - unfortunately, compostable coffee pods are not accepted in the ACRD Sort’nGo program (green cart) as the compostable plastic doesn’t fully break down. These items have been identified as problem material in other municipal systems. Having said that, coffee grinds only are welcome in the green carts!

  • Recyclable - in order for a coffee pod to be recyclable, they need to be clean and the contents removed and rinsed COMPLETELY. More often than not, this clean-up doesn’t happen and the pods are dropped into the blue recycling carts. This results in contamination of our recycling stream. In addition, when pods reach the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) and are placed on the sorting line conveyor belt, they can fall through the sorting mechanism and end up with ‘fine’ material (like bottle caps) which get disposed of as garbage.

  • Garbage - coffee pods continue to be a contentious item in the recycling world because they have such a high generation rate and low recovery process, so we do recommend that these get placed in the garbage.

A Helpful Hint for Sort’nGo Gamers: when playing the sorting game on the Sort’nGo ACRD app please note that coffee pods are accepted in either garbage OR recycling for a correct answer.

Don't forget to complete the game before Dec 15 and enter the draw to win a year’s worth of free waste service on us! Get contest details at: bit.ly/acrd-press-release-nov-17.

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