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Is Cork Recyclable? How Is It Properly Disposed Of?

Wine Cork

If you are a wine lover, you probably have a lot of wine corks lying around. Most people collect them and put them in a glass jar as souvenirs for all the great wines they have tested. That is just one of the things you can do with your corks instead of disposing of them.

However, cork can be recycled, reused, and repurposed in many creative ways within the home. Here’s a quick guide to how you can recycle, repurpose, and safely dispose of cork.

divider 4 Recycling Wine Corks

You can recycle your wine corks at home with minimal effort or send them to local recycling facilities. One of the most common ways of recycling corks is putting them in your home compost bin and using them as mulch for your plants after chopping them into small pieces. You then mix the compost with the soil to add more organic matter to it.

Recycling centers also turn the corks into mulch for gardens and pet beds and resell them to make a profit. They can also use the corks to make special colored paper.

empty wine bottle in the grass
Image Credit: Piqsels

Unique Ways to Repurpose Wine Corks

If you don’t have a garden and don’t wish to take the corks to recycling centers, you can upcycle them and use them for DIY projects. Some of the most popular DIY wine cork craft ideas include:

1. Table Coaster

Drink coasters from wine corks are becoming increasingly trendy since they have a unique rustic look. They are made from sliced wine corks and can be used for home bars, parties, and even in the kitchen. To make them, wash the corks and let them dry. Next, slice them into halves on the vertical plane, and glue them together in whichever shape you want—usually round is best. Next, sand the coaster down at the bottom to even it out.

2. Message Board

variety of cork tiles flooring
Image Credit: Baloncici, Shutterstock

Making a message board from wine corks is pretty easy. You can use the corks without cutting them by placing them in a zigzag design or use the lighter-colored corks to make patterns. Give it a personal touch by adding a custom frame or some antiques. The end product is a functional yet eye-catching corkboard where you can pin messages, badges, and reports.

3. Wall Art

There are numerous ways to make wall art from wine corks. You can choose to go with simple or more intricate designs that require a bit more time and effort to make. You can also paint the cork wall art or add a few antiques to make it more eye-catching. Some of the most popular cock wall art is monograms and heart shapes; however, the options are limitless.

4. Necklace Holders

Making necklace holders from wine corks is pretty simple. Nail the corks to a wooden frame and place your necklaces on them. They are simple and effective and make a great display of all your treasured pieces. You can also use them for holding your watches and bracelets.

5. Place Card Holders

Cork Card Holder
Image Credit: Plateresca, Shutterstock

If the theme of your event is rustic or you intend to serve a lot of wine, you can set the mood by using the wine corks as place card holders. This DIY craft is perfect for weddings, dinner parties, and holidays. To make one, make a small incision on the wine cork and stick the card there.

divider 1 How to Dispose of Wine Corks

Disposing of wine corks is easy since they are 100% biodegradable and environmentally friendly. They are made from wood and can therefore be disposed of in dumpsites or landfills without causing any harm to the environment. Other ways of disposing of them include:

1. Burning

wine cork-pixabay
Image Credit: 445693, Pixabay

Wine corks make great fuel and can be used in wood stoves for cooking or heating purposes.

2. Throw Them in the Trash

You can throw wine corks in the trash with your normal household trash or compost heap since they are biodegradable. Garbage collection services will know how to deal with them after sorting. However, ensure you place them in a different bag before throwing them in the trash to make the sorting process easier.

divider 4 Conclusion

If you are a wine lover, you likely have an attachment to your empty wine bottles and corks. Instead of throwing them in the bin, apply the tips above and turn them into upcycled products for your house. They will make your house look and feel warmer and encourage your friends and family to gift you more wine, a win-win.

Cork also makes great mulch, and is 100% biodegradable, so adding it to your compost heap is also an option.

Featured Image Credit: Felicia Montenegro, Unsplash


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