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Nespresso supports the recycling of aluminum coffee capsules in New York City

NEW YORK, U.S. — Nespresso, the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY), and Sims Municipal Recycling (SMR) announced yesterday that Nespresso has made a $1.2 million commitment to better enable the recovery of its aluminum coffee capsules through New York City’s curbside recycling program.

In addition to capsules, the commitment will allow SMR to better sort and capture lightweight aluminum, including foil and other mixed metals. This collaboration makes it possible for these items to be turned into new products.


“Nespresso is deeply committed to the circular use of our products, choosing aluminum packaging because it both protects the quality of our exceptional coffees and can be recycled and reused again and again,” said Guillaume Le Cunff, President and CEO of Nespresso USA. “This collaboration will provide New York City-based consumers with another convenient way to recycle used capsules and other aluminum products at home, allowing these items to be given many new lives.”

Nespresso has a continuous focus on developing innovative solutions to make recycling as simple and convenient as possible for consumers. Nespresso offers pre-paid UPS recycling bags in 48 states across the US so that consumers can mail back capsules to be recycled. The collaboration with DSNY and SMR will drive the Nespresso recycling efforts further and provide consumers with additional options.

The funding from Nespresso will assist SMR in investing in the additional technology that is required to improve the efficiency of its non-magnetic household metals recycling process, and help to reduce the amount of aluminum that ends up in landfill. The equipment will be operational starting fall 2019, and residents across the five boroughs in New York City will be encouraged to recycle their Nespresso capsules as part of their regular recycling routine.

Le Cunff continued, “This is an excellent example of how the public and private sectors can collaborate to develop solutions that have broad environmental impact and create shared value. New Yorkers are familiar with recycling aluminum cans, and we want to encourage people to also recycle a wider array of aluminum products that they use on a regular basis.”

The collaboration will support New York City’s Zero Waste initiative, which aims to contribute zero waste to landfill by 2030. A key component of the partnership will be to encourage New York City residents to recycle Nespresso capsules as well as the 43,000 tons of aluminum foil and other mixed metals that currently end up in landfill each year.

Steven Costas, Acting Commissioner at the New York City Department of Sanitation, stated, “New York City works to have as inclusive a recycling program as possible, and the New York City Department of Sanitation supports industry efforts to maximize recovery of recyclable items. We want to recycle all of your aluminum items, not just soda cans.”

“Sims Municipal Recycling’s role is to take the household recyclables that DSNY collects from New Yorkers and convert them into commodities or raw materials for manufacturers,” said Thomas Outerbridge, General Manager of Sims Municipal Recycling. “Nespresso has been extremely proactive in working with us to find an effective solution that is convenient for customers and that will allow us to direct the aluminum into productive reuse.”

The Nespresso Commitment to Recycling and the Circular Use of Aluminum

The Nespresso recycling program with UPS will continue to be available across the United States. Consumers can bring recycling bags to one of 88,000 UPS drop-off locations or 500 collection points at Nespresso Boutiques and select retailers across the country.

Once capsules are collected, they are sent to recycling businesses that work closely with Nespresso, who separate the aluminum from the coffee grounds to give them a second life. The coffee grounds can be turned into nutrient-rich compost and topsoil. The aluminum is processed and, ultimately, reused to create new products.

Globally, Nespresso has worked alongside a range of municipalities and businesses to invest in dedicated recycling initiatives that enable the convenient collection of used capsules. In 1991, in Switzerland, Nespresso helped to develop the first recycling system dedicated to Nespresso capsules. The company also helped to implement a municipal recycling program, similar to the New York City initiative, in Paris, France. Consumers in Germany, Sweden and Finland can also recycle their capsules in the same way they do other household packaging.