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Coffee replaces sand in snow-covered Krakow

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A man walks a dog on a path sprinkled with coffee grounds in a park in Krakow on Wednesday. The southern Polish city is sprinkling coffee grounds from local cafes instead of sand or salt in green areas. AFP

Coffee replaces sand in snow-covered Krakow

The city of Krakow in southern Poland has woken up and smelled the coffee – on the paths winding through its picturesque snow-covered parks.

The city is sprinkling coffee grounds from local cafes instead of sand or salt in green areas.

Krakow’s parks department said that using coffee was an “environmentally friendly and cheaper” alternative and the idea had “aroused great enthusiasm among residents and numerous cafes”.

The department said on its website that using coffee on the ground was also more “dog-friendly”.

More than 50 cafes are already contributing their coffee waste and the city said it hoped it would encourage more local residents to buy coffee to go and help cafes “in this difficult time”.

Cafes and restaurants in Poland are currently only allowed to operate a takeaway service.

Krakow credited the city of Lviv in Ukraine and Scandinavian cities for coming up with the idea.

Parks officials said they currently use about 75 to 80 tonnes of sand per week during snowy periods.

The idea appeared popular with residents as park keepers sprinkled coffee grounds from large buckets on February 10 near the city’s famed Old Town.

“It’s a nice idea. My dog’s happy,” said Bartek, who was walking his Australian Shepherd, Furia.

Another passerby said it was good not to use “harmful salt” and a third said it “could encourage more people to drink coffee during lockdown”.

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