Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut November 07, 2012 - 6:10 am

Guess what? You can recycle Tassimo coffee pods

CamBay woman collects tiny coffee discs for re-use

SAMANTHA DAWSON
No need to toss: you can recycle a used pod, Angela Philips of Cambridge Bay has discovered. (PHOTO BY SAMANTHA DAWSON)
No need to toss: you can recycle a used pod, Angela Philips of Cambridge Bay has discovered. (PHOTO BY SAMANTHA DAWSON)

Angela Philips of Cambridge Bay is on a Tassimo pod-recycling mission.

Philips came across a recycling website when trying to decide whether or not to buy the popular single-use coffee machine that brews cups of coffee and tea at the press of a button using single-use pods.

Terra Cycle is a worldwide program that encourages people to join “brigades” to collect previously non-recyclable or hard to recycle waste such as cell phones, chocolate wrappers, flip-flop sandals, Kool-aid drink pouches, laptops, printer ink cartridges, plastic sandwich bag boxes and even cigarette butts.

Philips has formed a new brigade in Cambridge Bay for Tassimo pods, which, when collected, are shipped off to a site in Ontario to keep the waste out of the landfill.

“It’s my little contribution to a greener Arctic,” said Philips, who works as the postmaster in Cambridge Bay.

Anyone who uses the Tassimo coffee machine can save the coffee, tea, espresso, milk and hot chocolate pods or “T-discs.”

When recycled, the discs can be turned into eco-friendly products such as plastic garbage cans, watering cans, benches, cutting boards, hard shells for coolers, playgrounds and plastic lumber.

Philips didn’t realize how easily something as small as Tassimo pods can add up as well as the points that brigade locations receive.

So far, over 300,000 discs have been donated to the program through 1,171 locations.

That’s resulted in almost $6,500 raised for different charities by T-discs alone.

“It’s really something when you start collecting them,” she said.

After sending off her first package of pods in September, Philips now has three people bring their pods to her.

“If we all do one simple thing it can make a difference,” she said.

Philips said her coffee-drinking “is not such a guilty pleasure now.”

“I’m feeling better about it,” she said, “I’m just happy to have a place to send it.”

The Terra Cycle website has raised $267,800 altogether.

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