How to recycle an aluminium espresso coffee pot

Filed in Blog, Reuse by on May 28, 2012 6 Comments
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italian-espresso-coffee-maker-aluminiumSee, I knew I could rely on you lot for creative reuse ideas and I’m eager to hear more suggestions.

One of our readers, the lovely Nicola – author of all sorts of exciting green things – told me about the sad demise of her espresso maker.

The aluminium espresso maker found itself with a broken handle, and Nicola being an avid zero waster, was on the lookout for some innovative ideas before resigning her broken pot to metal recycling.

I put her plea on our Facebook page and you didn’t let me down!


David, Antonella and Patrizia suggested repairing it. Now if I know Nicola I would guess she has already considered this and found it to be no-go. But let’s remember that REPAIR is a fantastic ‘R’ to add to the list of reduce, reuse and recycle.


The fabulous Make it and Mend it girls got excited about Nicola turning her old espresso coffee pot into a vase. They wrote “It would look fab displayed with other bits from the kitchen – and even better put a piece of string through the pipe at the bottom and fill the bottom with water and you have a self watering pot!” They shared a link to a funky self watering pot they had made from a plastic bottle for inspiration.
Eunice agreed that a vase was the way to go and Dora could see it filled with little flowers…

Pencil pot

Lucy is on a similar wave length to Little Miss Green. They both opted for a knick knack holder; particularly for pencils, pens and ruler. I too think it would make a great desk tidy. We currently have a big honey pot, but it’s plastic and now broken so we’ll be updating it soon.

Water feature

Getting her creative head on was Vicki. She wrote “I’ve been thinking about using a coffee pot & huge cup & saucer to make a water feature for my garden. Haven’t figured out the particulars yet”. Hmmm, I could see that working; I have a small indoor water feature that has a small pottery jug where the water pours from. It could look pretty stylish if done right.

LED light

This is undoubtedly one of my favourites! Kuei Ying Proietti shared a link to an amazing espresso lamp which shares a simple and intuitive operation. All you do is open the lid to turn the light on and close it to turn it off. The direction and amount of the emitting light depends on the position of the lid to create the perfect ambience. Mr Green has made a couple of lamps here at zero waste towers and I can see him champing at the bit to make one like this

Check out the video below!

So those are the ideas from the community so far. I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for Nicola, and Nicola – tell us what you are going to do!

Nicola is a city-based environmental journalist/author and mum of two young children. She’s written seven published books including the best selling “Save Cash & Save the Planet” and “Homemade Kids: thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children”. She blogs at Around Britain without a Plane and Homemade Kids.

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (6)

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  1. nicola baird says:

    Oh Mrs Green, you are too good to me. What marvellous ideas. I’m ruling out flower pot as I think this pot is a bit small for my blousy roses (I eat everything else in my garden!). Great tip about the self-watering plant pot though and one to use in the future.

    The clutter tidy idea (thank you Miss Green and others) would work as the coffee pot is such a stylish shape & I might just try it for a week in honour of your suggestions; but I really want to trial the LED light idea. As a bit of an insomniac I think this coffee pot conversion might create the perfect light for me to see by – but not wake up my husband. THANK YOU and your ideas pool so much! Nicola

  2. Peter says:

    First thought… you can never have enough ways to filter… other stuff.

    Guessing the top bit has holes that allow the contents to drip through to the bottom?

    With caveat on not going back to human consumption once using in the garage, a strong kitchen towel (Juan Sheet) will serve as a filter, and the turps jar I stored my paintbrush can be tipped in once settled and the contents reused for a new brush cleaning round.

  3. Carrie says:

    Oh, I love the light idea! It would make a very quirky addition to a guest bedroom. Who would have thought it, you can feel the book coming on: “101 uses for an old coffee pot”!

  4. nicola baird says:

    @nicola baird:
    This is Nicola again, and here’s what some of my Facebook friends thought:

    Nicola H If you take the lid off too would make a cool herb planter

    Caroline R Best idea is definitely the string down to base resevoir for self watering plant pot.

    Sara S Might have to make one specially …

    Tim Anything but repairing it. A lapfull of hot coffee is not a pretty sight or feeling…. if its metal, in the metal bin. if its pot, crush it up and put it on the garden.

    Penny RH Just keep using it but with oven gloves on

    Katariina Get rid off it!!. Aluminium..its too toxic..try to find one made of enamel instead!!

  5. Jennifer says:

    I LOVE the espresso light! How creative!

  6. Jane says:

    It looks like the kind of lamp you could polish and make a wish or three.

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