03/18/2015 04:14 EDT | Updated 05/18/2015 05:59 EDT

Keurig K-Cup coffee pod recycling cements success... and looks to Alberta

A B.C. program that recycles Keurig coffee K-Cups into cement has been so successful that it may expand into Alberta.

The Lefarge cement plant in Kamloops, B.C. turned about 1.4 million K-Cups into cement last year, after teaming up with Van Houtte Coffee Services, which collects the used pods for recycling.

"I think we've been fairly successful here," said Eric Isenor, the plant's manager.

"Van Houtte is happy with the program so far and is looking to expand," Isenor said, adding the company may start collecting the used pods in Alberta for recycling in B.C.

The single-serving coffee pods are not recyclable because they are a mixture of materials — coffee grounds, a paper filter, plastic cup, and foil top — that cannot be efficiently separated.

After collecting the used coffee pods, Van Houtte, a coffee service that delivers supplies to offices and retailers around Kamloops, brings them in large bins to the Lafarge plant for processing.

The pods are dried out, shredded and heated to 2000 C to form ash, which is then turned into cement. This in turn forms the foundation for homes and buildings in B.C. and Alberta.