Aim of Case Study
By gathering spent coffee grounds and converting this economic "output" (coffee waste) into a green economic "input," a biofuel, its immediate goal is to reduce the quantity of organic waste dumped in landfills. While addressing societal issues including inclusivity, employment, and consumption patterns, the project also promotes social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
Kafsimo’ is a groundbreaking community-based project which collects used coffee grounds from cafes in Northern Greece and converts them into clean biofuel. An electric van is used to collect used coffee grounds from the participating coffee shops in Kilkis and Thessaloniki. The waste is brought to a specially constructed greenhouse for dehydration and preparation for the processing stage using a route that minimizes emissions. The recipe and procedure, refined after months of investigation, and testing, are intended to turn the grounds into biofuel pellets or briquettes that can be used for heating homes, nearby businesses, and public areas. The program employs and develops members of vulnerable groups, giving them jobs and increasing their employability.
The key take-aways of the case study are the following:
Environmentally: The project promotes sustainability all through the lifecycle of a product, coffee in particular since it assists with the circular management of more than 10.000.000 kg of coffee waste annually
It promotes the principles of recycling, reusing, giving life to something that seems ‘unuseful’, turning it into fuel, reducing environmental footprint
Socially: It creates jobs for vulnerable social groups and provides training on the broader green-economy. Through this approach, and the subsequent economic independence, vulnerable groups of the community are empowered, and social integration is supported.
The Kafsimo team also conducts more specialized training workshops with university students and broad public education campaigns on the reuse and repurposing of organic waste.
This civic involvement promotes active citizenship in general and highlights how each person can impact their local community and the world around them by making little adjustments to their behavior.
Economically: Environmental activities and green entrepreneurship are growing as new, emergent economic sectors in Greece. The circular economy and trash management can be self-sustaining businesses rather than charitable endeavors, as demonstrated by this project, which is managed as a social enterprise.
By reintroducing organic waste into the manufacturing cycle, the initiative hopes to transform the common perception of organic waste from "rubbish" to "possible treasure" and to speed up the shift to a circular economy.
It promotes the idea that environmental, economic, and social problems are interconnected and call for a common solution while balancing social, and economic concerns, and the technical utilization of valuable materials, once garbage.
In order to show the financial benefits of recycling organic waste, Kafsimo engages, informs, and educates the public through creative scientific, social, educational, and economic efforts.
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