Podback FAQs

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Podback is a not-for-profit coffee pod recycling service. Created in partnership with the biggest names in coffee pod systems, Nespresso, NESCAFE Dolce Gusto and Tassimo, to give people who enjoy the quality and taste of coffee pods simple and easy ways to recycle them. 

Ipswich Borough Council is working with Podback to provide this pioneering new service, enabling you to recycle your coffee pods every week as part of your normal kerbside waste and recycling collections. Look out for leaflets coming through your door from 10 January 2022. 

1. How do I recycle my pods at home?

Simply register for the service through the Podback website and order your FREE recycling bags.

Podback will send you two rolls of bags, plus a caddy if you use NESCAFE Dolce Gusto coffee pods, for recycling your aluminium OR plastic coffee pods along with an instructional leaflet.  The bags will be automatically replenished after 6 months. There are two different bags, a white one for aluminium and a green one for plastic.  Aluminium and plastic pods MUST be kept separate so that they can be sent to the correct reprocessing facility.

Fill your bag as instructed and put it out at the kerbside with your black or blue bin by 6am on your normal collection day. To find out your collection day visit app.ipswich.gov.uk/bin-collection

2. How long will it take for the recycling bags to arrive?

Your bags will be sent to you within 7 - 10 working days. Once you have your bags, you can start using them straight away. Simply follow the instructions and place the bag out for collection along with your black or blue bin on your normal collection day.

3. What brand of pods are included as part of Podback?  

Currently the following brands are supporting the scheme: Nespresso, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Starbucks by Nespresso, Starbucks by Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Tassimo, L’OR, CruKafe, Artisan Coffee Co, Allpress Espresso, Colonna Coffee and Café Palmieri by Jomad Coffee. Together these brands represent over three quarters of the UK market.

 

4. When do you expect other brands to join Podback?

Podback’s ambition mission is to create simple and easy ways to recycle coffee pods, whatever the brand.

Podback wants to make the scheme even bigger and better.  That is why Podback is asking all brands and retailers in the UK, that place plastic or aluminium beverage pods on the market, to join so that the scheme has maximum coverage.

 

5. What types of pods are accepted at the kerbside?

All aluminium and plastic pods from participating brands: Nespresso, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Starbucks by Nespresso, Starbucks by Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Tassimo, L’OR, CruKafe, Artisan Coffee Co, Allpress Espresso, Colonna Coffee and Café Palmieri by Jomad Coffee are accepted and can be recycled through the Podback programme. This includes coffee, hot chocolate and tea pods. Find out more on the Podback website

 

6. Can I recycle hot chocolate and tea drinks pods? 

Yes, you can recycle any type of Nespresso, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Starbucks by Nespresso, Starbucks by Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Tassimo, L’OR, CruKafe, Artisan Coffee Co, Allpress Espresso, Colonna Coffee and Café Palmieri by Jomad Coffee drinks pods. This includes hot chocolate and tea pods.

7. 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 a green one for plastic pods. If you use both aluminium and plastic pods you should request both types of bags when you register on the Podback website

8. Can I include the packaging my pods came in inside the collection bags?

No, please do not place the packaging your pods came in inside the collection bags. Check to find out what can and cannot be recycled at the kerbside.

9. Why do I need a caddy for the Nescafé Dolce Gusto pods?

These pods tend to hold more liquid.  When you register for the Podback service you’ll be asked which brand of pods you use so the correct recycling bags can be sent to you. Nescafé Dolce Gusto users will be sent a drainage caddy with their bags. The caddies enable excess liquid to drain more easily and help users to store pods between collections. Full instructions are provided inside the caddy.

Users then simply transfer the pods to the recycling bag when they are ready for collection.

 

10. Will you replace my Nescafé Dolce Gusto caddy if it’s broken?

Yes. Please contact Podback directly and they will arrange for a replacement caddy to be sent to you. 

 

11. 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 black or blue bin by 6am on your normal collection day. Ipswich Borough Council will be collecting coffee pods every week using both our household waste and recycling vehicles. This means that you can put your bags out on either a black or blue bin week and they will be collected and recycled.

12. 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 pods before adding it to your recycling bag.

Top tips for used coffee grounds that may be left over in your machine

  • Simply pop your spent coffee grounds in a little pot and place in your fridge to help capture all those unwelcome odours and smells.
  • Feed hungry plants by either adding to your compost heap or placing on top of the soil, which helps keep those pesky little slugs, snails and ants at bay.

 

13. If I put my bags out with my black bin, will it get recycled?

Yes. The coffee pods collected will be sent for recycling. We are using both our household waste and recycling vehicles to provide you with a weekly coffee pod recycling collection. This means that you can put your bags out on either a black or blue bin week and they will be collected and recycled.

 

14. How many Podback bags can I put out for collection?

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

15. How do I order free recycling bags for kerbside collection?

The free kerbside recycling bags are available through the Podback website. You will need to register in order to get the bags. You will then be sent two rolls of bag, plus a caddy if you use NESCAFE Dolce Gusto coffee pods, for recycling your aluminium or plastic coffee pods.

 

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

Please visit the Podback website and use the contact form to order an additional roll of kerbside collection bags.

 

17. How many used pods will fit into the recycling bags?

The quantity of pods will depend on the brand of pods you use. Follow the instructions on the bag and fill it to the dotted line ensuring they are drained of any liquid.

 

18. Can I use any type of bag to return my used pods at the kerbside?

No. To take part in the Podback kerbside recycling collection scheme you must use the recycling bags provided for free by Podback. Register and order kerbside bags from the Podback website  This Podback kerbside bags help our crews identify the bags quickly and put them in the relevant container on the collection vehicle. It also helps them to be sorted for reprocessing more easily.

 

19. Can I use the Drop Off/ Collect+ bags for kerbside collection as well?

No. You must use the Podback recycling bags that are designed for the kerbside collections. Aluminium and plastic pods need to be kept separate as they are sent to different reprocessing plants. Collect+ bags cannot be accepted on the kerbside collection. Register and order kerbside bags here

 

If you request a Drop Off service, you will be sent a Collect+ recycling bag specifically for this type of collection.

Collect+ bags are free; however, a delivery charge may be applied. Please follow the instructions on the Podback website.

 

20. I live in a flat and use a shared bin. Can I still participate?

You can still recycle your coffee pods if you receive a communal waste and recycling collection. Simply place your filled bags in the dedicated area of the bin store or put them on top of your bins or boxes on your normal waste and recycling collection day.

If your bin store doesn’t have a dedicated area, please contact us so we can assess your collection arrangements. Please do not put your bags out if there is no dedicated Podback collection area.

21. Can I still participate if I don’t have access to a kerbside collection service?

Yes. If you live in a flat or communal property and cannot access a kerbside service, you can use the Drop Off service, which allows you to drop off filled bags to your nearest Collect+ store. To order your free recycling bag visit the ways to recycle section of the Podback website.

If you request a Drop Off service, you will be sent a Collect+ recycling bag specifically for this type of collection.

Collect+ bags are free; however, a delivery charge may be applied. Please follow the instructions on the Podback website.

21. 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 black or blue bin.

Please ensure your bags only contain coffee pods 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. 

22. Can I take my own pods to the Household Waste and Recycling Centre?

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

23. Why are there different ways to return your coffee pods for recycling?

The Drop Off recycling returns system has been in place for some years with the individual coffee brands.

Podback is a new coffee pod recycling service. It has been created in partnership with the biggest names in coffee pod systems, Nespresso, NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto, Tassimo and Cru Kafe to give people who enjoy the quality and taste of coffee pods simple and easy ways to recycle them. Podback is working with several local authorities who collect waste and recycling from households to expand their existing recycling collections to include coffee pods.

Kerbside collection (part of normal black and blue bin collections)

To use the kerbside collection service residents, need to register and order kerbside recycling bags from the Podback website

No other types of bags should be used for this collection.

Aluminium and plastic coffee pods need to be kept separate as they are reprocessed at different facilities. The bags have been designed so that you can tie them easily to contain the pods. 

The bags help the collection crews identify the types of coffee pods and put them in the relevant container on the collection vehicle. It also helps them to be sorted for reprocessing more easily.

Podback Recycling Bags

Podback Kerbside Recycling Bags

There are two different bags, a white one for aluminium pods and green one for plastic pods. If you use both aluminium and plastic pods you should request both types of bags when you register.

Drop Off

To use the Drop Off service residents must order Collect+ bags from the Podback website

These bags have been designed so that they can be easily sealed to prevent leaks when being returned via Collect+.

Collect+ bags are free; however, a delivery charge may be applied. Please follow the instructions on the Podback website.

Please be aware – these bags cannot be used for kerbside collections. 

Podback Recycling Drop off Bags

Drop Off recycling bags

Return to store

For residents who use Nespresso coffee pods you can pick up a Nespresso recycling bag and drop these off at all Nespresso Boutique stores.

Use the boutique locator to find your nearest store

Podback Return to Store

24. 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 plastic and aluminium will be transformed into new products such as beverage cans or plastic garden furniture. The coffee grounds are used to create soil improver and renewable energy.

25. Where will the pods be processed and recycled?

Aluminium pods will be reprocessed at Tandom Metallurgical Group Ltd. in Congleton, near Stoke-on-Trent. Plastic pods will be reprocessed by Roydon in Swinton, near Manchester.

26. 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. However, the bags are recovered and used to create energy.

 

27. Wouldn’t it be better if people didn’t use pods at all?

  • Coffee is a very personal taste and Podback believes that every consumer should have the choice to drink it in their favourite way, whether this is through instant, roasted, ground or more recently pods. Podback is focused on making this choice for consumers as sustainable as possible by offering them an easy way to recycle their coffee pods.
  • Nespresso has conducted life cycle analysis studies of different types of coffee, which show that that one of the biggest environmental impacts comes from the way it is prepared. These studies show that coffee pods are more sustainable compared to other methods, because they only use the exact amount of coffee beans, water and energy required to brew one cup.
  • However, Podback knows that more needs to be done to ensure that all pod packaging is captured and recycled, which is exactly why Podback has been launched.

 

28. Why is Podback using so many different types of plastic bags to recycle the pods?

Kerbside collections - There are two different bags, a white one for aluminium and green one for plastic.  Aluminium and plastic pods MUST be kept separate to that they can be sent to the correct reprocessing facility. The bags help the collection crews identify the types of coffee pods and put them in the relevant container on the collection vehicle.

Drop Off collections using Collect+ - There are two different Collect+ bags, a white one for aluminium and a green one for plastic.  Aluminium and plastic pods MUST be kept separate to that they can be sent to the correct reprocessing facility. These have been designed with special seals to prevent any liquid leaking out when they are sent through the Collect+ system.

 

29. What’s is the carbon impact of the Podback scheme?

The carbon footprint of the service is very important to us. We are working with Podback and partners to ensure the service is as efficient as possible.

30. What do I do if I no longer require the Podback service? 

Simply contact us on and we will ensure that you details are removed from the Podback register and we will let you know what to do with any spare bags/drainage caddy (where relevant).

Contact Details

Waste and Recycling,
Gipping House,
7 Whittle Road,
Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate,
Ipswich,
IP2 0UH

Telephone icon

01473 432000