Friendly Fires has been working on an efficient pellet stove project with St. Lawrence College and Green City Initiatives. Just recently at a SWITCH meeting, we were approached by Green City Initiatives as they have been experimenting with pelletizing coffee grinds.
Essentially, burning pellets is replaced with an alternative. Their concept was to see if we could use the waste coffee grinds from restaurants from landfills to produce a fuel source. We wanted to see if these coffee grind pellets could work in a regular pellet stove and if they could sell for less then regular pellets. If so, there could be a market for them!
After collecting some samples of coffee grinds, they started working with Foreman Farms to pelletize the first batch for independent testing. Their results came back fairly positive. The coffee grind pellets had a slightly higher BTU rating per pound, but the ash content was lower than traditional wood pellets.
In August of last year, approximately 80 pounds of these pellets were brought in to our Friendly Fires Kingston Store to burn in an Enviro Meridian Pellet Stove. The results were great! They burned well, resulting in little ash and good heat.
With these results in mind, Green City Initiatives contacted the local Tim Horton’s and MacDonald’s to begin discussions with St. Lawrence College in order to set up a testing facility for the new coffee pellets. They started collecting 4 tons of coffee grinds a day from the Kingston Tim Horton’s alone! Our Friendly Fires installers were quick to professionally install two pellet stoves at St. Lawrence College late last year. We are hopeful to see some positive results soon so stay tuned for our next post!