Cork is an amazing natural material. With all the effort that a tree puts into creating the spongy bottle stopper it’s a shame to simply toss that cork in the garbage after opening a bottle. There are options to give that cork a second life though through cork recycling programs.
What is Cork Recycling?
Recycling is a complex process. The biggest challenge for recycling any product is collection. Over the years we have all adapted to plastic bottle recycling, plastic containers, as well as cardboard and newspaper. Most items we buy are recyclable, but it requires a network dedicated to picking up those unwanted items then dismantle each to the components that can be sent for reuse.
Corks are ready for recycling as is. Putacorkinit.ca has done the legwork in figuring out how to get those corks to where they need to go. By getting the word out that those bottle stoppers can be recycled is half the challenge. Providing venues for consumers to drop off their cork collections is all they need to move the program along. Creating a simple, branded cylinder (that kind of looks like a cork) corks can be collected pretty much anywhere. Right now PutACorkInIt has 7 locations and we are proud to be the 8th location in Vancouver.
How does it work?
Drop on by the school at 432 W Pender with your used corks and drop them in the cylinder we have near the front of the class. We run classes 6 days a week, from 12-4PM and then again from 6-10PM. When our bin is full, we make a call to our ‘cork collectors’ to then grant those corks a new life. You might see your corks show up again as into building or construction products… maybe even in your shoes.
What else can be recycled?
At Fine Art Bartending, we go through a lot of whiteboard markers. We have looked at alternatives, and even considered going back to a blackboard with good old fashioned chalk… but ultimately the whiteboard is what works for our instructors and students. Staples has a great collection service for those dead batteries as well as markers and pens. We make it a point to walk our spent markers over to one of two locations in downtown Vancouver. If you have a few markers you want to drop with us too, we will gladly march them over to the Staples drop off point.
If you love your corks and don’t want to part with them, get crafty. There are plenty of websites out there offering suggestions on what you can do with the material. For those of you with no time for that, bring your corks on down to Fine Art Bartending and we will be happy to recycle them.