CIA: putting coffee husks to good use

Reuse and valorisation of coffee peels
Type of organisation or company
Ancona (Marche Region)
Language for original content
Project elaborated in partnership
Production areas
Submitted by
ICESP (Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform)
Start/End date
Type of funding

The initial aim of CIA (Controllo Inquinamento Ambientale) was to reduce the amount of money the company spent on waste management. However, waste generated by a production process can become a resource in a circular economy model.

When coffee beans are roasted using jets of hot water vapour, the coffee husks are not contaminated by any dangerous substances. The first step was to have coffee husks classified as by-products and not waste under Italian law.

Subsequently, the CIA looked into ways to use this splendid secondary material, in compliance with good industrial practice. Based on the quantities produced and the company's geographical area, in-depth research showed that the most appropriate way to reuse coffee husks was as a fertiliser and soil conditioner by composting them in organic farms.

Identified challenge (s)
Main results
  • After removing any residues of heavy metals and pesticides, the coffee husks can be used for mulching and the production of organic compost
  • Thus, in addition to reducing the costs of managing and disposing of coffee husks as waste, it is possible to use this substance as a fertiliser
  • This system has allowed the company to save the money it would otherwise have spent on processing coffee husks as waste, approximately EUR 3000 a year.