She says: 55 million cases of bottled wine sold in California each year. Holy Kaw – that’s a lot. If each case has 6 or 12 bottles – (sigh… more math) subtract the screw caps, and that’s STILL a lot of corks. What to do with them?
You know the mantra… Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.
Reduce – um… you mean, like, drink less wine? Bwa, ha, ha! You’re so funny!
Re-use – A few – but where? How many cork trivets does the world need?
Re-cycle – Ok, but where? What’s a recycle-a-holic to do?
Reduce – California is not reducing the amount of wine we make or drink. There are laws about that – natural laws of happiness that require certain amounts of wine to be made and consumed each year. Yes. I swear I read that in some law book. Trust me.
Re-use – You’ll re-use a few in bottles perhaps, but here’s an awesome option: @MackenzieMays on Twitter reports that she saw kitchen backsplashes and kitchen counters made from wine corks. THAT’S COOL! She reported that they cut the corks in half (oh great – that math you did up there? x it by 2) for steadiness and then glued them onto something builders know all about. Ask your favorite builder what’s possible. (I searched for pix, etc – but came up w/nothing.)
If that’s a little too “granola girl” for you – here’s a picture of a cork TRIM that would be awesome in many kitchens, wine lairs, (you have a wine lair, don’t you?), a den or a dining room or two. And @ThisOldHouse has a great blog post from 2008 10 Uses for Wine Corks http://bit.ly/10UsesForWineCorks
Recycle – I was dorkily ecstatic when our city began pickup of our “green garbage” or grass, leaves, vegetable scraps. I could hear angels singing. I’d been evangelizing the compost religion to HE for a while and then, voila, the city got on the same bandwagon and gave us Green Barrels! Yay, California! But the green barrel picker-uppers won’t take corks. Corks take too long to break down. (Jan. 2012 update – apparently now you CAN recycle corks in green barrels! Check w/your specific city regulations.)
So check this out – ReCork.org Recyles your corks! http://bit.ly/ReCorkRecyclesYourWineCorks @RECORK on Twitter. And this company, TerraCycle, will help you recycle your cork and lots of other stuff, too – and for some of your stuff – they’ll give you cash. That’s different! http://bit.ly/TerraCycleRecyclesCorks Twitter handle is @TerraCycle
And now – @LATimesHome writer Susan Carpenter wrote out the deets on recycling wine corks, metal screw tops, plastic stoppers and all the wrappers on wine. What can be recyled? What can’t be recycled? It’s in the Sat. March 26 edition of LA Times – but I can’t find a digital version of the article anywhere. Guess you’ll have to make some trash and buy the hard copy LA Times in order to reduce the trash from wine toppers and stoppers. Tweet to @LATimesHome and maybe they’ll put Susan Carpenter’s “Pop that cork, then…” article. Sat. March 26 – Home section page E7. (update: March 31 LA Times published the article onilne: Recycling Corks – The How Where When and Why
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Jan. 2012 update: Reader submits the following how to recycle cork ~ more suggestions! http://bit.ly/How_To_Recycle_Cork