RICHLAND — Paul Nyman of Kennewick gets his coffee -- and his used coffee grounds -- at Barracuda Coffee Co. in Richland.
That's the way Jake and Michelle Shupe, who own and operate the business at 2171 Van Giesen St., want it and why they have been given the environmental excellence award by the Washington Department of Ecology.
Offering used coffee grounds for household composting is one of many ways the Shupes recycle or re-use materials at their business.
The Richland couple has reduced their waste materials from two to three 55-gallon garbage cans daily to less than that amount per week.
They sort and recycle more than 1,000 pounds of waste products each month, even making used coffee grounds available for free to customers as additives in home gardens.
"We are very proud about receiving it," Jake Shupe said Thursday.
Barracuda Coffee won a Richland green business award under previous owners, he said.
Thursday's state award was well-deserved recognition for a business that Ecology spokeswoman Joye Redfield-Wilder said demonstrates environmental stewardship and reduces consumption while employing sustainable business practices.
The Shupes have been seeking to reduce waste at Barracuda since 2007.
"We keep finding more and more ways to help. Next on our list is water conservation," Jake Shupe said.
In addition to not tossing used coffee grounds, the Shupes provide reusable serving dishes, replaced inefficient light bulbs and ask customers to toss everything into a single waste container. Employees sort through the container.
And once a month, the Shupes haul their own carefully sorted recyclables to the Clayton Ward yard.
Nyman said the coffee is good, and the recycling is a bonus, but he especially likes the fact that the Shupes and their employees know his name when he comes in for a double tall Americano.