Coffee Grounds Composting

Have you ever considered using coffee grounds in the garden? Really? Oh Yes!


Most of us will start our day with a hot cup of love, we are talking about coffee of course!

What do you do with coffee grounds when you’re done? Well, we have some answers for you and it’s not the bin! There are so many sustainable options, if you are making coffee at home with a cold drip maker, French press, Aeropress or an espresso machine you should be collecting the used coffee grounds after each time because they are super beneficial for your garden!

For the gardening enthusiasts amongst us, coffee is a ‘green’ garden compost layer – it is packed with nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and many other nutrients. We love it and our plants do too!


The lush gardens at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Kuranda Terminal

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Kuranda Termial Garden in Kuranda Village

Coffee grounds in the garden… for fertilisation

You can use coffee grounds in the garden as a slow-release fertiliser for your plants and garden beds. You can sprinkle the coffee grounds directly into the soil of your house plants and pots but keep it as a thin layer, a couple of small spoons is enough, not too much at once.

If you have a composter they can be added in as a green layer. The worms and bugs will love munching through the coffee grounds and once broken down you will have a fertile rich garden compost for you plants and vegetables.

So, you are making your own compost and sprinkling all your pots with the coffee grounds but what other benefits does it have?

Ranger Katie dispersing the coffee grounds in the garden at Skyrail's Smithfield Terminal

Used Coffee Grinds make a great garden and compost fertiliser

Ranger Katie view above hat with coffee grinds in a bucket at Skyrail's Smithfield Terminal gardens

Canopy Cafe keeps the used coffee for use in the Skyrail gardens

A bug barrier in the garden

Do you get slugs, bugs and ants eating your plants and veggies? We all do, but the coffee grounds act as a barrier for these tiny critters. There are a few theories about why slugs don’t pass a trail of coffee grinds, it is too abrasive, or it may be the caffeine, who knows- but it works!

One thing to be aware of if you have a loveable furry friend, the amount of coffee grounds sprinkled directly in your garden beds should be minimal. If your pet is curious and has a few tasty samples it may be harmful in a high dose, so we suggest composting it before using it in the garden, here at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway we do both!

Ranger Katie with a bucket full of coffee grounds in the garden for fertilisation at Skyrail's Smithfield Terminal

Ranger Katie fertilising with coffee grounds in the garden from Canopy Cafe at our Smithfield Terminal

Skyrail’s lush garden 

Each morning our Rangers collect the used coffee grounds from Skyrail’s Canopy Café and utilise its rich nutrients in our gardens, worm farm and compost.

Skyrail Rangers use some of the coffee grounds sustainably to sprinkle throughout our beautiful gardens at our Smithfield and Kuranda Terminals which are thriving and bursting with colour.

Using the coffee grounds in a composting mix breaks down the other scraps and garden waste quicker and results in a deep, nutrient rich compost for our gardens.

Our worms love the coffee grounds mixed into their farm for food and as it breaks down it stays moist and warm, helping create a perfect temperature for our worm farm, which is about 16-27 degrees Celsius. Our worms also enjoy food scraps from the Canopy Café and staff lunch rooms, we are spoiling them really!

Ranger Tim placing a coffee cup in the simply cups recycling station

Simply Cups recycling points can be found throughout Canopy Cafe and Smithfield Terminal

Coffee grounds in the garden…but what about the cups?

Now you know our coffee grinds are used sustainably, but let’s talk about the takeaway cups we serve the coffee in at Canopy Café. Yes, when you visit Skyrail, it may be, you have a warm cup of coffee and you’re looking at it and thinking ‘why is it served in a takeaway cup?’.

Have you heard of Simply Cups? To work more sustainably Canopy Café and Skyrail staff recycle every takeaway coffee cup at our Simply Cups recycle stations. They are an innovative company which works to reduce the amount of coffee cup waste we create in Australia by taking hundreds and thousands of these cups and creating upcycled products such as outdoor furniture, road surfacing and concrete!

To date Simply Cups has 1,382 location points and has collected over 25,417,023 coffee cups Australia wide. Which is pretty amazing if you ask us!

So, when you visit Skyrail for your ancient rainforest experience over and through the Wet Tropics World Heritage area, come a little earlier and enjoy a coffee at Canopy Café and sip knowing that you are contributing to help us feed our worms, compost, fertilise the garden beds and recycle our paper cups.

Why not try using your used coffee grounds in the garden at home?

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