South Okanagan program recycles wine corks

Put A Cork In It currently has five locations in the South Okanagan where residents can bring their natural corks

  • Oct. 2, 2012 3:00 p.m.
Peter Wille of Bench 1775 Winery looks over some of the wine corks being recycled through the Put A Cork In It program.

Peter Wille of Bench 1775 Winery looks over some of the wine corks being recycled through the Put A Cork In It program.

Ever wondered what to do with old natural wine corks? In the South Okanagan you can recycle natural corks at several local businesses in Penticton and Summerland. Cork is a 100 per cent sustainable and renewable natural resource that can be recycled into dozens of new products.

‘Put A Cork In It’ Cork Recycling Program was set up in Vancouver by Ian McSorley when he learned there were a variety of ways to remanufacture cork into underlay, flooring, acoustical wall tiles and fabrics. Put A Cork In It consolidates shipments of corks and sends them to the Jelinek Cork Group, one of the oldest, continuously active cork companies in the world. Their recycling program was the first of its kind in North America.

Put A Cork In It currently has five locations in the South Okanagan. In Penticton, residents can bring natural corks to Bench 1775 Winery, Upper Bench Estate Winery, the Penticton Wine Country Visitor Information Centre and the Campbell Mountain Landfill during normal business hours. In Summerland, Valentine Farm Vinegar Works can also accept corks. For a full listing of locations and addresses visit www.putacorkinit.ca.

“We are big on recycling cardboard and glass and creating our own compost,” explains Peter Wille of Bench 1775 Winery. “Recycling corks fits with our philosophy of being as natural as possible.”

Screw tops and synthetic corks are not accepted. Don’t mix synthetic corks with natural corks as they are difficult to remove once mixed together. Synthetic corks can melt and potentially damage cork recycling equipment. Place synthetic corks in the garbage.

“Businesses, such as wineries and restaurants, are encouraged to learn more and set themselves up with free cork recycling,” said Cameron Baughen, RDOS solid waste management co-ordinator. “This program is a great way to promote your business while keeping valuable materials out of the landfill.”

For more information, visit www.putacorkinit.ca. Restaurants and wineries interested in becoming a drop-off depot can also contact the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Solid Waste Department at 250-490-4129.