Corks

Special Instructions
See Alternatives

Corks are too small for curbside recycling, so they need to be recycled through cork-specific programs. The following local stores have dropboxes for cork recycling:

Sones Cellars
334-B Ingalls Street | Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Whole Foods
1710 41st Avenue | Capitola, CA 95010

BevMo! 118
1820 41st Avenue, Suite A | Capitola, CA 95010

Find more recycling locations under Alternative Ways to Recycle below.

Plastic Corks: Too Small to Recycle

Many synthetic corks are made out of plastic, but unfortunately are too small to be recovered by sorting equipment, so they go in the trash.

Composting Natural Corks

You can compost natural corks, but they will take a long time to break down unless you break them up into small pieces first, or even better, run them through a blender.

Alternative Ways to Recycle

corks-CFCA-dropbox

CFCA Dropboxes

The Cork Forest Conservation Alliance collects and recycles natural corks in dropboxes in many Whole Foods stores, as well as other retailers. Find a dropbox here.

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ReCORK Recycling Program

ReCORK collects natural corks so they can be reused in packaging and products such as cork shoes. If you have 15lbs of cork or more, mail them in with a free shipping label. Or find a nearby dropbox.

Ways to Reuse

Hydrate Your Plants

Break up a wine cork and add the pieces to the soil of your potted plants to reduce the rate of water evaporation during hot summer days.

Did You Know?

Harvesting Cork Actually Saves Cork Trees

The myth of the endangered cork tree has become so popular that consumers have made a major switch to buying wine bottles that don’t use cork stoppers. But it’s the switch that’s actually harmful: cork trees are renewable, and cork forests support a high level of biodiversity. Without interest in the cork industry, these forests aren’t being protected. The World Wildlife Fund recommends always purchasing wine with natural cork stoppers. Find out more about the effort to save cork trees.