Ground Breaking Mushrooms

About This Project

Ground Breaking Mushrooms is a partnership between BAF and Matthew Williams.

Our aim is to remove an ever increasing amount of coffee grounds from the waste system.  New Plymouth has a thriving café scene and a consequence of this is a burgeoning level of used coffee grounds.  Much of this ends up in landfill.

To achieve our aim we have been testing the success of blending the grounds with a second organic substance and have confirmed that this creates a perfect substrate on which to grow oyster mushrooms.  Once the mushroom growing cycle is complete the substrate has then been turned into a high yield organic compost (raw coffee grounds are not useful as a compost).

This means that not only will our project remove coffee grounds from the waste system, it will grow an organic saleable mushroom product and allow the coffee grounds to be re-used for a third time as compost.

Our full enterprise will work within a shipping container and will use repurposed dairy buckets as a growing platform. Our first site is active in Westown on the site of St Chad’s Church and we also have a Curious Minds funding grant that has enabled us to partner with Francis Douglas memorial College to create a 2nd site that brings their science and horticulture students on board as part of a research team testing what is the most effective blend of coffee grounds and secondary matter to grow mushrooms.

We were delighted to receive support from New Plymouth District Council through their Waste Levy Fund.  This has enabled us to purchase an e-bike and trailer that allows us to collect used coffee grounds with zero carbon impact.

For more information visit 

We were thrilled to be recognised for this work by Sustainable Taranaki in he following article 

Earlier this year Sustainable Taranaki also showcased BAF for ‘their outstanding efforts in reducing their climate impact by implementing a Response Map’ in the article at the link below.