How can I reuse or recycle wine corks?

CorksAnother suggestion from SaraR:

Hi guys. Thanks for the great ideas for what to do with the leftover coffee – I told one of my colleagues and now she’s taking it home to use on her garden.

Anyway, I have another one for you based on another of my naughty addictions – red wine. We have a number of cork-corks and plastic-corks lying around the house and add to the number regularly, but I don’t know what to do with them. Do you have any ideas?

We’re not wine drinkers so we don’t have much call to reuse or recycle wine corks or the plastic synthetic equivalents so any suggestions for SaraR would be very useful indeed.

I know there are a number of popular wine cork crafts – most commonly noticeboards or trivets – anyone got any specific favourites?

Best Suggestions

  • Reduce: If you brew your own wine, consider reusing old screw top bottles – the range of wine available with screw tops has increased dramatically over the last few years so you’re sure to know someone who can save some bottles for you.
  • Reuse: Slice up real cork wine corks and use them to make noticeboards and trivets or pop them under wobbly table legs. Alternately, use them at the bottom of plant pots to aid drainage.
  • Recycle: Lots of organisations collect cork-corks and synthetic corks. See the comments below for some addresses.
  • See the comments below for more suggestions and ideas

(Awesome photo by xml, c/o sxu.hu)

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126 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle wine corks?”


  1. john powell says:

    Cut the corks in half, lengthways, and glue them to a piece of hardboard (recycled) to make an attractive pinboard. Only problem is you`ll just have to drink alot more wine!

  2. Matt Scholey says:

    The plastic corks can be taken to any Odd Bins stores where they have a box for recycling them.

  3. Rosie says:

    If you slice the corks with a sharp knife (mind fingers!) the slices make good little pads to glue to underside of say ornaments to prevent them scratching the surface of wooden shelves etc.

    Rosie:)

  4. zosia says:

    I use mine in flower pots instead of crocks – much lighter.

  5. Emanla Eraton says:

    Use them as pincuishons.

  6. Fiona says:

    try this great idea for recycling a whole load of things. My local one says they’ll take my embarrassingly large bag of them (obviously collected over many years!).

    http://www.home-education.org.uk/scrap.htm

  7. Amanda Kerik says:

    When storing / shipping something with protruding points you can use these as safety guards.

    I suppose you could use these as fishing floats.

  8. Leah says:

    How about carving a little image out of one of the ends for stamps?

  9. Rosalind says:

    Put bits of cork on the ends of your knitting needles, then they don’t go through the corners of bags and jab your fellow passengers on trains.

    They also make good firelighters, so I bung all mine in the kindling basket. Just make sure they’re not the plastic ones (note to husband).

  10. Jillian says:

    make a wood or whatever frame to put them in, make a cool design, secure them down and you have a trivet to put hot pans on for your dinner table!

    • peter f. steele says:

      hi,

      i would like to send you a photo of my slate/winecork barn framed memo board that i am making…a dozen so far. but, i can not attach it to this reply.

      pete
      stroudsburg, pa 18360

  11. Widgetco says:

    Recycle your used wine corks by mailing them to:

    Recycling Dept.
    The Widget Mfg. Co.
    12503 Exchange Dr., Suite 500
    Stafford, TX 77477

  12. RayRee says:

    you can also cut them diagonally and use to balance an uneven table (old restaurant trick…)

  13. CLAIRE says:

    Make a pinboard, with a driftwood frame.

  14. Wacky One says:

    Using two corks at a time, hot glue them together. (Make enough pairs so that you have enough to alternate pairs, alternating direction of cork’s lie.) Hot glue sets of two together until you achieve the desired size for a trivet. They’re great gifts and you can solicit corks from wine-drinking friends for donations. Wine-drinking friends love the trivets as gifts.

  15. Cindy says:

    Drill holes lengthwise and thread with red beads as spacers for Christmas Tree garland.

    I also have many glues to a twig wreath for a large doog wreath.

  16. Cathy says:

    Please recycle corks by sending them to:

    Coldwater Market
    Attn: Cathy
    P.O. Box 796
    Coldwater, MS 38618

    Thanks!

  17. Lizard says:

    I glued some together flat and added a few nails. With a hook of string I can now hang necklaces on the wall on this crazy shaped thing. I like the crocks in plant pots idea very much.

  18. jackie mckenna says:

    I will also take winecorks to make projests out of in case anyone wants a Canadian address to send them to. (Real or ‘fake’ corks)

    Jackie McKenna
    695 Innisfil Beach RD
    Innisfil, Ontario,
    L9S 4E4

  19. Pat says:

    makes a good bobber if you use a cane pole for fishing

  20. Margaret says:

    I saw a guy make a coffee table out of hundreds of wine corks…it was pretty bad ass. I suggest only doing this if you have lots of time to spare.

  21. anna says:

    I love cork as material, and have collected cork (also the plastic ones) from wine for years. I made a pot holder, and will continue adding 1/2 corks to the edges until it will be big as a table :)
    The real cork version http://www.flickr.com/photos/zisa/2467666369/ and the plastic http://www.flickr.com/photos/zisa/2467666835/
    All you need is lots of patience to collect them, x-acto knife, and a hot glue gun (other glue works too but it’s more fun as a tool).

  22. Roger says:

    Save those wine corks for reuse. Natural cork wine stoppers are the easiest to recycle. Here are a couple of suggestions to check out:

    Recork America is a wine cork recycling program on the West Coast. Check out their site at http://www.recorkamerica.com.

    http://www.yemmhart.com is another reuse operation in MO. Steve Yemm is making some super flooring tiles from used wine corks.

    http://www.terracycle.com is buying corks from folks on the East Coast.

    http://www.Korks4kids.com is another recycling program worth checking out. I believe they are located in NJ.

    Bottom line: don’t toss your corks in landfill. They deserve another chance in life. Cork is cool.

    Cheers,
    Roger

  23. Anonymous says:

    put them in a wood bowl and use them as a decoration?

  24. m. says:

    I wonder if I can create my own cork floor if I cut slices (as they did for the trivet/hot pad suggestion). If I did cut them all, place them on the floor with glue, I wonder how I could fill the small spaces between them… some kind of binder that was flexible enough to move with it? Could I then level the floor with a sander? Or could I make my own tiles using a mold, cork, and the recipe for the binder. Then I could let it set, and cut my own. Is this even doable?

  25. Tish says:

    I’ve just given my 21 month old son a pile of corks and a box with a hole in it and he is happily playing posting the corks into the box. A free toy!

  26. David Dixon says:

    I will take all the corks (natural and synthetic)that you can send to me . I am building a showroom for all my shotglasses , barglasses and bar ware , and need all the corks I can get .I will use them to make table tops and also other display areas . Please send all your unwanted corks to me . I will even mention your name on the projects if you’d like . Be a part of this showroom .

  27. David Dixon says:

    Please send me all of your unwanted corks to 5113 N Golder , Odessa, Texas 79764 and be a part of this showroom . I will take every cork you can send to me and I will use each and everyone . If you’d like to be mentioned on the project please inform me when you send the corks . Wanting all sizes and types .

  28. Melvina Ray-Davis says:

    I did some research online and found a company called Yemm & Hart Green Materials who is collecting them (only real, not the plastic ones). I’m trying to collect lots of them from office mates and will ship them to the company. Shipping should be inexpensive since they’re light. If the trial goes well, they might start paying for them. Also just learned that California Whole Foods is doing a trial collecting them from customers.

  29. wendy says:

    THE GAME OF GO
    how about cut them into slices of circle ones and color them so that kids can use them to play the game of go.

    DESKTOP MESSAGE STAND
    - when people leave a note on your desktop
    just like this:
    http://www.casasugar.com/1628653

    CHOPSTICK HOLDER

    KIDS BATHING TOY

    POT MAT
    stick some together

  30. David says:

    Will except and will recycle all your unwanted bottle corks and all other types of corks . Will except natural ,and synthetic types of corks .
    Mail them to :
    Reminising of Yesteryears
    Atten. of D.Dixon
    5113 N Golder
    Odessa , TX 79764 -4058

  31. goldie says:

    Try this website – if not already mentioned above.

    http://lovemyearth.blogspot.com/2007/05/crazy-for-corks.html

  32. Sharon says:

    I’ve cut a small dent in them and used them as a place to set chopsticks when serving wine and Chinese/Japanese food. If you have enough to glue together horizontally, it could also be a good spot to place hot pots.

  33. Jo Dear says:

    Is there anywhere in the UK to send corks to for recycling???

  34. Shorty says:

    Store them in an attractive glass vase by your wine collection, I saw a picture like that in Crate & Barrel and it was lovely.

  35. Anonymous says:

    They can be used to roll out small pieces of clay.

  36. D. Dixon (shortypa) says:

    I live in Odessa , and I am recyling all types , styles and sizes of bottle corks and also all types of metal bottle (twist off) alcohol or liquor caps . It takes years for one cork to decay , and metal caps do not decay . Except them for all restaurants ,bars ,clubs , tasting centers , home made wine stores , and indiviuals . Keep these items out of our trash cans and landfills and pass them on . I ask that you pass this on to others , so they too can help keep our trash cans and landfills free of these items . E-mail me and I will let you know where to drop off or send them . I will take all these items you have and can get .

  37. mia rose says:

    mia rose is acccepting natural wine corks in an effort to reuse the natural resources available to everyone. all profits through this recycling program will be donated to programs benefiting only the earth.
    thank you!
    mail to:
    mia rose
    30 tower hill road #3
    north kingstown, RI 02852

  38. Adam says:

    Make your own wine and use them as wine bottle corks.

  39. Andrew E says:

    Drill them part-way down the centre and push them over any thin canes you are using as supports in the garden. (Drinking wine could save your eyesight!) I have made a jig that holds 5 or 6 corks and clamps into my vice to avoid drilling my fingers too.

    Also champagn/Cava corks are good protectors or temporary handles for files and other things with sharp points.

  40. bill says:

    If you have any you could spare, I would love to have them. They are fun to play with. My son and I like to try to make up new games with them. They are fun to collect with the many styles and printings on them. I don’t drink, and if I don’t find them at knick-knack stores, I don’t have any way to get them.

  41. frangipan says:

    Hi if you are in the UK or want to post to the UK then please send your natural corks to:

    FRANGIPAN
    TYNI
    LLANGOEDMOR ROAD
    PENPARC
    CARDIGAN
    CEREDIGION
    SA43 1RQ
    WALES
    UK

  42. Kirstie Robertson says:

    Hi,

    If anyone or anyone that knows a restaurant/pub that would be interested in sending their natural cork bottle stoppers to me it would be much appreciated. Please email me at the above address and I can send you the necessary forwarding address.

    Many Thanks for taking time to read my request.

  43. Kirstie Robertson says:

    Just left message without forwarding my email address whoops here it is

    Kjrobertson73@yahoo.co.uk

  44. caroline says:

    Just a heads up for those looking for corks or those looking to get rid of some in the uk – try your local scrapstore. I got a whole load from mine to make a pinboard.

    http://www.childrensscrapstore.co.uk/


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