Thursday, May 26, 2011

Got K-Cups?

[sorry for the formatting—I'm having blogger issues again. Image from espressoplanet, no connection though I lost some time browsing their offerings.]

Single-serve = more packaging. I know. And K-cups are ridiculously easy to throw away, all neatly packed even after use, while being nearly impossible to dispose of responsibly.

If only they didn't make such good coffee! -G-

So the workplace now has a Keurig. It also has two Solofill reusable filter-cups, but I'm the only one who'll use those; everyone else uses the packaged cups. Before I started agitating for folks to toss their K's into the compost collector [“my worms are hungry! Please feed them your tea bags, fruit peels, etc.”], I figured I'd better make sure the foil-topped plastic cups with coffee and filter inside were, in fact, bucketable.

Turns out...they're not suitable for a standard bokashi bucket. (As a general note to myself for future experiments: Impermeable additions mess with bucket health. Treat separately if at all.) Nor all that desirable for my bucket-alternatives. Even leaving the chemical concerns out of it, plastic in a slow compost pile is never recommended; it will break down into smaller pieces, but not truly degrade. The worms don't appreciate foil, though it isn't enough to make them flee from an otherwise suitable planter, but it takes a surprisingly long while for any worm to get brave enough to wriggle into a cup, and in the meantime, other critters may decide to colonize. Bad enough having to remove slightly degraded plastic cups from your vermicompost, but a cup full of centipedes? Eek! Repulsive doesn't mind them if the foil's torn a bit, and cohabitation's far less of a concern there, but small cups can hold waer, which could stagnate, and then there's the mucky mostly-intact plastic to fish out of the grubbery. Ick. And Ugh.

If you take the foil off the top, the worms are happier, though the other concerns still apply. Sigh. I scrounged a covered tray that would fit half a dozen or so unlidded used K-cups; spritzed EM/AEM/AIM on the UCG and let it ferment for BSF bait or “breath freshener” or compost boosters—nice fermentation, but in order to use the stuff, you still have to separate the organics from the plastic. Let me just say, it's a pain: the filter's glued into place. I resorted to kitchen shears.

And gave up on trying to salvage the organics from them in any organized sense. Hey, I divert my own UCG, isn't that good enough?

...which argument would sit less uneasily on my tongue if not for the fact that the workplace Keurig is actually my personal property, installed there for office use because I could.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hope that helps