All of us are trying to live “greener,” which brings up the
question among wine lovers: Can corks be recycled?
Let’s deal with the “no” first. In most cities than use
composters in their recycling and “green” initiatives, natural cork is not
allowed in the recycling bin because it takes so long to break down.
In other words, its strength as an air-tight closure for
storing wine also is its weakness when it comes to recycling.
The good news is that there are ways to recycle natural cork
other than through composting. For instance ReCORK collects used corks and
transforms them into footwear products, thus extending the cork’s useful life
for several years.
If you have at least 15 pounds of corks on hand, the company
will send you mailers which can be used for shipping the corks to its
headquarters in Napa, Calif.
There’s an asterisk to this story, however. It takes A LOT
of corks to reach the minimum 15-lb. shipping weight. But that doesn’t mean you
can’t use your own–preferably recycled–shippers.
To learn more about the ReCORK program, visit:http://recork.org