Sunday, January 24, 2010

More Good Recycling News

From Jerry Veneziano of Sweetwater Farms:

There was a time when I didn't drink wine. That all changed when we settled the farm here at the gateway to Virginia's wine country. With 2 wineries no more than 15 minutes from my door, how could I not try them out, and discover what I'd missed out on? Which has led to numerous empty glass bottles...and a pile of corks. Dealing with the bottles is hang them from trees (thanks to Sister Dawn for that inspiration) or haul them to the recycling center if you prefer. But, what about the corks? They're kind of cool and all, but after awhile they start to pile up...
A quick visit to Feast! in Charlottesville (an epicurean's dream) turned up the answer, and some rather disturbing statistics. Apparently, billions (yes with a "B") of wine corks end up in landfills every year. That's not good! Especially since they can be recycled into so many things (insulation, soil conditioner, building materials, etc. etc. etc.). The only tricky thing is finding a place to turn them in. That's why Carpet Plus has started Re-cork C'ville. Take your natural wine corks to one of the drop off locations they've set up, then they'll convey them to a cork recycling facility.
Unfortunately, they don't have any drop off locations in Richmond (at least, not yet), and I'm not aware of any similar local program (again, at least not yet). Still, this would be a perfectly good excuse to take a ride to the mountains...and sample all that C'ville has to offer, yes?
Learn more at:


  1. maybe i'm just ignorant, but how can you tell whether your corks are natural?

  2. You can recycle wine corks at Ellwood Thompson's! As soon as you walk in, along the farthest wall to your left there are three or so barrels for recycling. One for wine corks, another for bottle caps and that's all I remember. :)

  3. Re-Cork C'Ville will have some boxes set up at next month's Virginia Wine Expo in Richmond!

  4. Wow- thanks for the updates, Liz and Stephanie! Amanda, I think you can tell if the corks are natural if they are a bit spongy and not completely smooth. Corks are sometimes made out of plastic, and those can be any color under the sun. Natural corks are light brown with dark brown splotches.