With school back in session, Fox Creek Junior High students are adding McDonald’s used coffee grounds to their garden to help it grow and learning about reuse and recycling.

   Fox Creek Jr. High is one of 150 Arizona schools participating in McDonald’s “McCafé School Gardens Grow!,” a coffee grounds recycling initiative.  Fox Creek Jr. High teacher and school garden coordinator Marcella Morris picks up the coffee grounds weekly from  McDonald’s  at 600 Hwy. 95  in Bullhead City.

   Launched in January, the initiative is part of McDonald’s “Good Neighbor Good Grounds” recycling program, designed to divert used coffee grounds from the waste stream by promoting the reuse of coffee grounds to add nutrients to soil or compost.  Bagged coffee grounds are also available to the Bullhead City community in the 600 Hwy. 95 McDonald’s lobby.

   “The average McDonald’s produces 30 pounds of coffee grounds every day. That’s 11,000 pounds of coffee grounds a year,” said Abelardo Martinez, Bullhead City McDonald’s owner. “How can we keep it out of the landfills? Well, we can give them to the schools and the Bullhead City community to use in their garden beds.”

   “The McCafé School Gardens Grow program has been amazing for us,” said Marcella Morris.  It’s a win-win situation for both the environment and the school.  Our students are adding coffee grounds to the garden beds every week and learning about the importance of recycling and reuse.”

   “Our McDonald’s restaurants serve a lot of coffee,” said Martinez. “The opportunity to partner with local schools to reduce our coffee grounds waste benefits everyone.  Concern for the environment is important to us as well as our customers.  We practice responsible coffee sourcing with the majority of our certified coffee purchases from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms, including 100% of our espresso in the U.S.

   Our restaurants work hard to reuse, reduce and recycle,” he continued.  “We also currently recycle used cooking oil in nearly all of our restaurants. Our napkins are made out of 100% recycled content and we are the first in the industry to have the “How2Recycle” label on many of our recyclable packages, bags and clear cups.  We’ve also set a time-bound goal to achieve 100% of our packaging from certified or recycled sources by the year 2020.”

   Schools or community gardens interested in participating in the coffee grounds recycling program can call Rhonda Grundemann at 602-739-8810 to be assigned to a local McDonald’s restaurant.