blog from the ceo & superbarista of phoenix coffee, home of the best baristas in cleveland, ohio

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sustainability Initiatives

We brought our first load of styrofoam to the recycling plant this past Friday. A small thing, maybe, but it felt big. Without even having signs up at the stores yet, we managed to collect a gaylord (4 feet x 4 feet x 4 feet) box full of styrofoam to take to Tymex Plastics off Harvard Ave here in Cleveland. A gaylord full of marginally clean styrofoam has a subtle, peculiar odor to it, but as I have learned over the years, that is simply the smell of recycling. We'll have to learn to appreciate it, I guess.

Carl Skala from Blue Pike Farm picked up another batch of chaff from the Roastery today, which he and his fellow gardeners will be using at their community garden. Then, Dawn and I were brainstorming about how to collect coffee grounds for Carl to also collect, and I think we finally figured out how to do it. We just make a separate trash bin outside, near the dumpsters, where the baristas will pour the coffee grounds. We just collect them in a separate bin, near the coffee makers at the cafes, and dump them, batch by batch, into a bigger receptacle by the dumpster. It would have to be covered container, and it probably would get moldy, and get frozen in the winter, but if Carl had a second set of containers, he could just switch them out. Having the collection bin be outside was a big "aha" moment for me. That way, we don't have to smell it if it gets yucky. Furthermore, up to this point, Carl has really been the missing ingredient in this; I am thankful that he is willing to come pick up so regularly. Hooray!

If we now have just about gotten rid of styrofoam and coffee grounds, and we already recycle cardboard, that just leaves paper and glass and plastic and newspaper. Hmmm. I wonder how little we actually could throw in that dumpster every week?

Thanks to Dameon at Jakprints for being so inspiring on this issue. And, of course, Julie at the Lakewood store, who has always been completely commendable on the sustainability front. You guys rock.


Blogger energyminded said...

HI there,
I love the Phoenix coffee shops, however I have one concern with the Lee Road location. The AC seems to be running every morning and several tables are directly in their blast. Why is AC needed in the winter and rather than cooling with AC, why not just outside air.
Overall the air quality in this location can suffer at times. Many times I had to leave, because the venting of the air is not adequate. Fresh air will go a long way...

8:26 AM, January 18, 2007  
Anonymous meghan said...

I work at on perkins/chester inbetween 36 and 40, and am working on sustaibability efforts in my company as well.. i noticed this post was kind of old, and wasnt sure if you were actually collecting styrofoam at pheonix coffee houses, or if you are just recycling your own... i would love any advice, or collaborative effort to recycle styrofoam, its so hard to find a way to get rid of... i also noticed you mentioned jak prints helped inspire you...? just anohter midtownie tryin to make things better!

10:43 AM, June 26, 2007  

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