Cork Recycling 🍾: Maybe you won in an art contest; or, maybe you finally got that promotion you are longing for. Whatever the reason is, you want to celebrate it with your family and friends. And what better way to celebrate than to turn up the music and pop a bottle of champagne? But, you are also a strong advocate of “Zero Waste” and want to do what is best for the environment. All the champagne bottles you popped are indeed recyclable; but, what about the corks? Can you put corks in the recycling bin as you do with wine bottles? Read on to learn more.

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A bit about Waster

Before I discuss cork recycling, let me share with you more information about Waster.

We here at Waster provide you with innovative solutions for your and your business’s waste management and recycling needs. Furthermore, we provide flexible, 30-day contracts instead of the typical lock-in contracts, which proves to be better.

Click on the blue button to learn more.

READ: Can You Recycle Xrays? ♻️


Recycling corks is tricky

Corks can indeed be recycled. That is because it is made from the bark of a cork oak tree. They can be used and turned into different types of products like floor tiles, cricket balls, bath maths, gaskets, and much more.

Generally, we want to recycle them because we want to remove – or at the very least, reduce – the need to extract natural resources to produce raw (or virgin) materials. This, in turn, helps us save up our natural resources, in this case, cork oak tree barks. You also have to factor in the transportation and processing stage; which also uses up our natural resources.

But even with its recyclability, Recycling Near You, a site where you can get information on where to recycle many different kinds of products, states that there are no known organisations in Australia that can collect and recycle your corks as at the moment. Contact your local council if they accept corks, as some organisations can still accept them, not for recycling, but for reuse. Before, there was a manufacturing firm that collected corks and turned them into recycled wine cork flooring. But, they stopped doing so because nowadays, many wine companies do not make virgin corks anymore. They are made with synthetic resin materials.

champange cork

TerraCycle Zero Waste Box

As I have mentioned above, organisations accepting your cork waste are hard to come by. But, you can always check out TerraCycle’s Zero Waste Box to recycle just about anything – corks included!  Additionally, they both accept natural and synthetic coins so rest assured you can also recycle your plastic corks.

What happens to the collected cork waste is that they are first separated into two categories: virgin, natural cork and synthetic cork. The folks in TerraCycle that handle the virgin corks shred them into small pieces and turn them into fillers or other plastic materials. As for the synthetic ones, they shred, melt, or pelletize them. The processed synthetic corks are then used for injection moulding, compression moulding, or extrusion moulding applications.

If you want to purchase TerraCycle boxes for just about any type of waste there is, try searching on our TerraCycle Zero Waste Box page; we have loads of options available for you!


What can we do with our corks, then?

Do not worry, there are still several things you can do with your corks even without the availability of recycling firms ready to accept your corks. If you do own any virgin corks (i.e., corks purely made from the bark of cork oak trees), then you can try your hand at composting them. Just remember to put them in a compost bin, not your green waste bin. You should check first with your local council before attempting to compost them.

Additionally, instead of recycling corks, you can also try to turn them into garden mulch. But before doing so, make sure that your corks are natural. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to turn them into organic gardening mulch:

  • First, you have to chop up the cork waste that you have into small pieces – about 1/4″ pieces. Keep chopping them until you use up all your corks.
  • Additionally, you can also use a blender to speed up the process and save the work.
  • If you did blend them, put them in a container and weed out the still-big pieces. Put them in the blender again until the big pieces of cork waste disappear, already turned into mulch.
  • That is it! Whatever of the two methods you use, that is fine. You can now spread it on the ground of your garden to enrich the soil around your plants, among many other benefits of mulch.

Did you know that you can also make mulch with old Christmas trees? Check our blog on Christmas recycling facts to learn more.

Using corks as arts and crafts

One more thing you could do with your collected cork is to reuse it for different purposes. If you are the crafty or artsy type, you could use one and create yourself a “Buddelschiff” or what we may all know as a ship-in-bottle design. Or you could go for something much smore straightforward and create a keychain, stamp, or a mini planter.


Cork recycling: conclusion

“Can you put corks in the recycling bin?” “Cork recycling in Australia” “Recycle wine corks”; if you have searched for this and came across this blog, I hope it helped you answer your questions.

Good news: even though there are no known organisations at the moment that will take in your collected corks and recycle them, there are still other options to choose from to dispose of them. You will never have to worry about recycling your Dan Murphy cork again! Additionally, you can also recycle plastic corks like natural corks with the help of TerraCycle.


Waster: things you need to know

If you’re looking for recycling bins, check our waste recycling shop and find the best deals in terms of pricing and services.

Also, please call 1300 WASTER (1300 927 837), or email us at if you have any further questions.

commingled recycling cta