I already know it's a lot of trouble to remove them for composting, but does anyone know if the paper filters inside the K-pods are actually biodegradable? We no longer use the old fashioned coffee maker so these pods are all I have access to and I hate to waste them. I also recycle the plastic part after I clean the coffee out.
According to the Keurig site, Is there a filter in the pods? What is it made of?
All of our coffee and tea pods contain filters. Filters are made with abaca fiber, which is the same material that is typically used in tea bags and are considered unbleached.
Since Abaca fiber is a natrual plant material, it should be biodegradable.
If we investigate Abaca fiber in detail we find it comes from a species of banana, from the stems and leaf petioles. It is a very useful fiber because it is very fine and hard and wears very well. It is used in teabags and banknotes and high quality writing and art paper. Banknotes are renowned for their ability to stay in circulation for a long time and teabags need to be able to survive boiling, which they do very reliably. Unfortunately this means that they can survive in a compost heap, even a really hot one, and will survive quite nicely alongside oak heartwood in a Hugelkultur bed.
In an effort to pursue the science quite fully in this respect back in the summer I pulled a few teabags from a very old compost pile. They were perfectly intact after about four years. To see if it had improved inside the pile I tried to make some tea with one; it survived the boiling water but as expected the tea tasted of worms, weeds and dirt, a slight improvement over the original tea. I'm working on breeding worms with suitably sharp teeth but no luck yet.
My suggestion would be to open up the used pods/bags, compost the ground beans and tea dust, dry out the paper containers and use them to light the woodstove. Otherwise they will keep showing up in the compost. Year after year after year.