Garnet Wheaton Screen Shot CBC

A Canadian furniture store owner woke up one morning and smelled the coffee.

He realized his company has truck routes that could help recycle wasteful plastic Keurig K-Cups in a way that could provide jobs for people with disabilities.

Garnet Wheaton’s trucks making deliveries to his store in Moncton, New Brunswick, usually return to the Halifax, Nova Scotia, warehouse empty. But now, they’re hauling used K-Cups to a recycler.

Dartmouth Center Screen Shot CBCHe’s arranged to have the Dartmouth Adult Services Center break open the discarded cups, turn the leftover coffee grounds into compost, and recycle the plastic shells.

The center provides jobs for adults with intellectual disabilities and its director says the recycling project helps to improve their people’s work skills.

K-Cup single serving plastic pods of coffee have become extremely popular, but they produce a surprising amount of waste. It’s been estimated that if you were to line up all the K-Cups discarded in a single year, they’d circle the earth 10 times. Recycling them is labor intensive, but a perfect job for centers like the one in Dartmouth to undertake.

“There is absolutely nothing that isn’t great about this project,” the center’s director, Cathy Deagle-Gammon, told CBC - CC-rockindave1

Check Out the Surprising Products Being Made From Coffee Grounds

Because Wheaton sells K-Cups and coffeemakers inside his Wheaton’s Furniture stores, he wants to recycle as many cups as he can, saying it is the responsible thing to do. To promote the program he is offering a dollar’s worth of coffee products for every 24 K-Cups brought into his Moncton store.

If the idea works on this one route, Wheaton wants to expand it to his other stores and maybe one day use it a recycling model for all of Canada.

(WATCH the video and READ more at CBC News) — Photo: CBC video

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