A South African recycling company is building a plant that will convert the country’s coffee waste into biofuels.

CEO of Verda Waste, Fischer Khambule, says the company plans to be at the forefront of industrialising the process of converting waste coffee grounds into biofuels.

The plant will recycle 17 million kg per year of spent coffee grounds into 1.8 million litres per year of biodiesel and 4.5 million kg per year of biomass pellets and fire logs.

As one of the most consumed beverages in the world, coffee is the second largest traded commodity after petroleum. With more than 9m tonnes of the bean produced annually the great demand for this product has seen large amounts of residues generated in the coffee industry.

The waste generated by the industry is toxic and represent serious environmental problems and the vast majority ends up in landfills.

The multi-million rand plant will divert approximately 70 000 tons of coffee from landfills over the next 5 years, saving 476 000 tons in carbon emissions.

“ Not only is this plant good for the environment, jobs for the youth and more than 100 small business opportunities will be created,” Khambule adds.

The Johannesburg based plant is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.