Recycling your used coffee pods with Podback

Podback: Freqently asked questions

How do I recycle my pods at home?

With our kerbside collections you simply fill your Podback recycling bag with used aluminium or plastic pods and leave it outside with your other waste on your normal waste collection day. You will need different bags depending upon which pods you use at home.

You get your kerbside recycling bags by registering for this service. You can sign-up on the Podback website.


What types of pods are accepted at the kerbside?

All aluminium and plastic pods from participating brands are accepted and can be recycled from home.

Find out if you can recycle your brand of pods on the Podback website.


Where and when should I put my bags out for collection?

Once your bags are full, please place them out for collection along with your other waste and recycling containers by 6am on your normal collection day. South Derbyshire District Council will be collected coffee pods every week using both our household waste and organic vehicles.


How do I get hold of recycling bags for kerbside collection?

The recycling bags are available through the Podback website. You will need to register in order to get the bags. You will then be sent a roll of bags for recycling your aluminium or plastic coffee pods.


I have finished my supply of kerbside collection bags; how can I get more?

Please visit the Podback website  to order an additional roll of kerbside collection bags.


What happens if I live in a flat?

You can still participate if you live in a flat. Please present tied bags with your other containers as usual. If your bins are usually collected from a communal bin store, please present tied bags only on the day of collection.


My bags haven’t been collected. How do I arrange for a missed pod collection?


If your pods have not been collected please place them out for collection on the following week with your normal waste or organic waste collection.

Please ensure your bags only contain coffee pods, are securely tied and are not filled with liquids. It may be that the crew had to leave the bags as they contained the wrong materials. If the bags do contain the wrong materials or lots of liquid, please remove these before presenting them for collection.


Can I put aluminium and plastic pods in the same bag?

No, the different types of pods must be kept separate so they can be sent to the correct reprocessing facility. There are two different bags, a white one for aluminium pods and teal one for plastic pods. If you use both aluminium and plastic pods you should request both types of bags when you register.


Can I recycle any brand of coffee pod?

Podback’s ambition is to expand the programme to include all coffee brands that use plastic or aluminium pods in the UK. Find out if you can recycle your brand of pods at the Podback website.


Can I include the packaging my pods came in?

No, please do not place the packaging your pods came in inside the collection bags. You can check what can and cannot be recycled at the kerbside on the following webpage.


Can I put out extra bags?

Yes, you can put out as many bags are you want. Should you run out of bags, you can order more from the Podback website.


Can I take my own pods to the recycling centre?

No, please do not take your pods to the recycling centres or banks. You can only recycle your coffee pods via our kerbside collection service. You can sign up to the service at the Podback website.


How many used pods will fit into the recycling bags?

The quantity of pods will depend on the brand of pods you use. Fill the bag to the dotted line ensuring they are drained of any liquid.


I use two different branded pods; can they go in the same recycling bag?

You can put any participating brand’s pods in the appropriate bag. The teal-coloured bag marked P is for plastic coffee pods or the white bag marked A is for aluminium coffee pods. If you use both aluminium and plastic pods, you cannot put them in the same bag and you will need to use separate bags. This is so they can be sent to the correct reprocessing facility.


Do I need to remove the used coffee grounds before putting them into the collection bag?

No, the coffee grounds are removed from the pods at the reprocessor. The coffee is then used  as a soil improver and to create renewable energy.

Please drain any remaining liquid from your used pod before adding it to your recycling bag.


Can I use the Collect+ bags for kerbside collection as well?

No. You must use the bags designed for kerbside collections.


Can I use other/generic bags to return my used pods?

Used pods will only be accepted in designated kerbside bags.


Why aren’t pods currently collected as part of household recycling?

While pods are technically recyclable, because of their size and weight they cannot be easily sorted and processed within the UK’s existing waste infrastructure.

Podback has launched the kerbside collections to make pods as easy as possible to recycle.


What happens to my used pods?

After collection, the coffee pods are taken to a specialist reprocessing plant in the UK to separate the packaging from the used coffee grounds. The coffee grounds are used to create soil improver and renewable energy. The plastic and aluminium will be transformed into new products such as beverage cans or plastic garden furniture.


Are the bags recycled as part of the recycling process?

The current recycling bags are not recycled as part of the recycling process due to their contact with liquids, labels and wider materials. The bags are recovered however and used to create energy and Podback are looking at ways to recycle these in future.