Fertilizer from Reused Coffee Grounds

@ Irina Iriser

Mushrooms are produced with used coffee grounds, which are collected from other companies, avoiding waste and creating circular jobs. The coffee grounds contain minerals and useful nutrients for mushroom  growth. As the coffee grounds do not need to be pasteurized, this type of project also saves energy in the production. The coffee grounds are used as soil as compost after use


International (examples: Italy, Portugal, Netherlands and Belgium)

Difficulty level:



Each day, millions of people drink coffee and hundreds of tonnes of coffee grounds are produced on a daily basis.  Instead of wasting tonnes of coffee grounds, they can be recovered to produce mushrooms and, in the end, be composted, which closes the organic cycle and enriches the soil.

How youngsters can get involved

  1. Establishing partnership with companies or communities that produce coffee grounds
  2. Defining collection routes and methods
  3. Collecting the coffee grounds
  4. Producing mushrooms
  5. Consuming or selling the product

Skills and Competences

Hard skills

  • Mushroom cultivation
  • knowledge about local symbiosis
  • developing an innovative business model
  • management
  • logistics


Soft skills

  • decision making
  • teamwork
  • resilience
  • commitment

How youngsters can get involved

Funghi Expresso (Italy): https://www.funghiespresso.com/

Nãm (Portugal): https://nammushroom.com/

Rotterzwam (Netherlands): https://www.rotterzwam.nl/

Perma Fungi (Belgium): https://www.permafungi.be/