rosiegirl
Cool Member
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:15 pm
Location: New York

Paper filters from k-cups?

i don't actually drink coffee but since i started my compost bin i have been collecting k-cups from friends and family to add the coffee grounds to my compost bin. does anyone know if i can also throw the little filters from the k-cups in the compost, too?

i tried researching this and there's not a lot of information. some people seem to think the filters might have some plastic components?

toxcrusadr
Greener Thumb
Posts: 969
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: MO

Re: Paper filters from k-cups?

The best way to find out is to try composting some. If they don't disappear after several months they have plastic in them. I wouldn't put a ton of them in, just in case they don't! Maybe a couple dozen, then when you turn your compost pile, look for them. You might also try just soaking one in water for awhile and then try to tear it apart with your hands. If it's tough at all, it may have plastic in it. Paper should tear apart very easily.

There are tea bags that are plastic mesh, especially the triangular ones, so it wouldn't surprise me.
Tox

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28174
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Paper filters from k-cups?

I have found that it depends on the brand. It seems like some of the hardcore organic brands use recycled paper filters and less glue. Most regular grocery-available brands use gobs of glue and filters impregnated with some kind of man-made fiber.

One way you can easily tell is by trying to pull them off and tearing them. Fibers can be easily seen along the torn edges -- besides, you'll find some are impossible to tear.

For mass processing, I find it easier to cut the lip and glued edge of the filter off with a good pair of utility scissors. I have a pictorial somewhere. I'll copy it here when I find it.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28174
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Paper filters from k-cups?

Subject: Recycled containers for seed starting and uppotting
applestar wrote:
applestar wrote:Latest revision on K-CUP recycling for seed starting -- reviewing and learning from previous experiments, this is my latest/improved method for repurposing them for seed starting.

1-3/4' diameter after cutting off the rim is a very good size for starting tiny seeds up to tomato/pepper seed size. 7 of them fit snugly in the larger takeout sandwich and pastry clamshells, optimizing space.

One disadvantage is that it lacks sufficient depth when the seedlings are ready to start growing true leaves, and I always want to plant tomato seedlings deeper when uppotting.

Last year, I started experimenting with double-deckering them after they outgrew the cup. This year, I've hit upon a way to make this process easier. Also decided the filter creates more problem than it's worth, and easiest way to get them out is to simply cut the top rim off along with the attached lid, then trim the top edge another sliver to cut off the glued edge of the filter along with the plastic. Then the filter and UCG dump out easily.

Image
Image

Because the inner cup has no bottom, they Can be popped out easily for dividing and uppotting as necessary. For simply double-deckering, I just pull the inner cup out, fill the bottom cup, and stack. A tape on each side has turned out to be essential to keep the upper cup from falling off until the roots fill the bottom cup. At planting time, I simply cut off the bottom and sometimes cut up the sides to use as plant label (a little nail hole and twist tie). :mrgreen:

It turned out that I can fit 14 2Kc's in tripled clear plastic egg carton lid. Only problem is they have to be matching cartons. I hope I can find more among the saved egg cartons. 8) I think the larger clear container is the one from H-mart (Korean super market) I can't remember how many, but the 2Kc's also fit exactly. :-() The white one looks like a 1/2 dozen egg carton, but is actually a tray in which Mochi Icecream came in, and it wastes space due to the spacing between the cells, but I can make it work by putting two more on the ledge between the cells for total of 8. It's sturdy and can also be strengthened by stacking two trays. Image
I like to gather them on recycled containers that are sized to fit them snugly without leaving much wasted space. Then once I have enough of them, I put them on a web tray inside a standard no-hole tray -- 66 2Kc's or single K-cups fit almost exactly ... 6 rows of 11:
image.jpeg
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

rosiegirl
Cool Member
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:15 pm
Location: New York

Re: Paper filters from k-cups?

great thanks...i'll throw them in and report back in a few months!

they tore pretty easily so hopefully they're paper!

Return to “Composting Forum”