There is a lot of talk lately about the impact of coffee capsules on the environment, but rarely any discussion about how consumers may thoughtfully dispose of their coffee machine at product end-of-life. Electronic waste is the fastest-growing type of waste in the country - if we are truly concerned about sustainability, we should be focusing on reuse and repair wherever possible to help reduce the amount of electronic items going to landfill.
Whether you're into Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, Expressi or Caffitaly - you can be part of positive environmental change by extending the lifecycle of your coffee machine, and here's how:
MY CAPSULE MACHINE IS BROKEN. WHERE CAN I GET IT REPAIRED?
• Start by troubleshooting: Manufacturers often list this information on their website, or you can refer to your user manual. Some companies offer online and phone assistance services. If it looks like you're headed down the DIY route, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube, you may also have luck finding spare parts on eBay. If you know the name and model number of the part you're after, that will help you in your search (this information can often be found in instruction manuals.)
• Get your coffee machine professionally repaired: If you're lucky, the manufacturer may offer a pick-up and repair service. If not, contact them directly and ask for a referral to an authorised repairer. Failing that, Google is your best friend.
• Head to a Repair Cafe or Workshop: Repair cafes are popping up around the country encouraging people to reduce e-waste items by repairing, reusing, recycling, or via donating them so that they may be fixed or sold. If you're keen to upcycle, Repair Cafes certainly provide a convenient and enticing alternative to the rubbish bin.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH MY UNWANTED COFFEE POD MACHINE?
If you simply don't want your machine anymore, but it is in good condition, reuse is still the most environmentally friendly option. Try selling or giving your coffee machine away on eBay, Gumtree, Ziilch, local Facebook Buy-Swap-Sell groups or at a garage sale.
You can also try your local charity if they accept electrical items. Please note: If you leave a small appliance at a charity that doesn't accept them, it's probably headed for landfill!
IF YOUR COFFEE MACHINE IS DAMAGED, UNREPAIRABLE OR SIMPLY OBSOLETE:
Recycle it! It is important to try to recycle what cannot be reused or repaired, ensuring maximum landfill avoidance. Electrical items can be complex and dangerous to break down, and can't be recycled in your regular household recycling bin. At this stage, Australia does not have a national recycling scheme for electrical appliances as a whole. However, you can contact your local council for advice, or head to Recyling Near You.
Do you have any great tips or additional information on sustainably disposing of coffee machines? Email us!