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Young Gazan recycles coffee waste into eco-friendly fertilizer

Abdullah al-Safadi collects coffee grounds to use them as fertilizer for plants in Gaza City, on Jan. 19, 2023. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)

GAZA, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Abdullah al-Safadi, a Gazan young man in his 20s, has been promoting the recycling of coffee grounds into organic fertilizer in his community.

The young man, who works at a local cafe, told Xinhua that residents of the coastal enclave consume about seven tonnes of coffee every day, which means at least four tonnes of coffee grounds are produced on a daily basis.

But the habitual disposal of coffee grounds by throwing them in the sewer pipes causes big waste and also blocks the pipes.

Abdullah al-Safadi uses coffee grounds as fertilizer for plants in Gaza City, on Jan. 19, 2023. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)

After searching the internet, the young man secretly started his little experiment. He collected the cafe's coffee waste, dried them up, and applied them to the plants in his workplace as fertilizers.

A few weeks later, to his surprise, the plants were growing faster and stronger.

He couldn't wait to share the success with his boss and every guest coming to the cafe.

"I was so happy that some of my clients told me that the method also works for them," he said.

The coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen and naturally repel several common garden pests, said al-Safadi, adding the grounds can even be used to create "barriers" that slugs and snails can't crawl over.

To get the full value from used grounds, it is better to compost the waste for at least 100 days to reduce its levels of caffeine, chlorogenic acid, and tannins, he noted.

Abdullah al-Safadi uses coffee grounds as fertilizer for plants in Gaza City, on Jan. 19, 2023. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)

Over time, used grounds can also improve the quality of soil, and can be used repeatedly and indefinitely, he said.

Mariam al-Saady, one of the cafe's regular customers, saw her plants growing better and better after adopting al-Safadi's approach. The 34-year-old even suggested the recycling culture be applied to deal with other problems in the environment.