Recycling K-Cups Has Gained Popularity On Campus

Library Hopes to Keep Recycling After Move to Learning Commons

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  • The Library Services entrance in Flory Hall where the K-Cup recycling service is located.

  • The K-Cup recycling box located beside the Keurig coffee services in the library.

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Brooke DiCicco, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va.- Bridgewater College’s library services has a K-Cup recycling program found in Flory Hall. The program allows faculty, staff, and students to bring their used K-Cups to be recycled.

Most who use a Keurig throw away its remnants as soon as the Keurig finishes brewing coffee. It is statistically shown that there are enough K-Cups in landfills to circle the globe 10 times, according to USA Today

Once the library started their Keurig system in the old Alexander Mack building and now in Flory Hall, Angela Flage, purchasing assistant in Library Services, noticed the amount of waste the Keurig produced and looked for a way to make the process more sustainable. Through, she was able to make the library a collection point for used K-Cups. This program is currently utilized mostly by faculty and staff on campus. 

One department on Bridgewater’s Campus that has utilized the library’s recycling program is the Information Technology Center. Bridgewater junior and IT Center Help Desk Agent Josh Sprouse, along with Help Desk Operator Shay Kelly started to recycle K-cups once hearing about the program through word of mouth.

“I think people do not realize that K-cups can be recycled, but knowing the possibility is an option on this campus makes our department and college one step closer towards being more sustainable and better caffeinated,” said Sprouse. 

There is a cost to be a collection point for K-Cups, as recycling them is more costly than it is to produce fresh materials. After the library packages and sends the used cups to the recycling center, the grounds are separated from the pods. The separated grounds are composted and the plastic and foil can then be recycled.

K-Cup recycling is currently covered in the coffee services budget in the library. “We are hoping to continue it in the Forrer Learning Commons, but it is dependent on funds,” said Flage. Due to the new café located in the Learning Commons, it is unknown how often the service may get used.

Sophomore Faith Elliott was unaware of this service on campus. She and her family use K-Cups almost daily and after use, throw them away. After learning about the impact K-Cups have on the environment, she acknowledged how the library made it simpler for those on campus to access this service. 

“Everyone should recycle; it’s just the process of being able to do it,” said Elliott. 

“It’s not difficult, it just takes a couple minutes of time to bring them to our service as long as we continue to recycle them. The is affordable and cheaper than most,” said Flage.