Corks (both natural and synthetic) should not be put in your household recycling bin. Use the directory to find recycling drop-off locations for natural corks or organisations that accept corks for reuse projects.
ReCork recycling program
Natural corks can be dropped off for recycling through a pilot program by ReCork. Collection units are located at participating Dan Murphy’s stores in the ACT, NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria. Use the directory on this page to find a store near you.
Natural corks from wine and sparkling wine bottles can be recycled through the program (please remove any packaging such as wire or aluminium foil). Synthetic/plastic corks are currently not accepted.
Corks that are recycled through the program will be processed in Australia and turned into new products. The corks will be sent to Save Our Soles to be turned into products such as anti-fatigue mats used in retail stores and restaurants.
How to recycle large quantities of corks
If your business or workplace has a large number of corks to dispose of, some organisations may accept large quantities. Search Business Recycling to find a recycling service in your area.
Other uses for corks
Corks can be reused in craft projects, as garden mulch, or they can be placed in a compost bin (not your green waste bin unless your council states otherwise). If you plan to compost your corks, make sure they are not synthetic corks made from plastic. Discover how to set up a compost at home.
What are corks made of?
Natural corks are made from the bark of the Cork Oak tree, which are mainly grown in Portugal, northern Africa and the Western Mediterranean. Cork Oak trees provide valuable habitat for a wide variety of birds and wildlife.
The trees must be 25 years old before their first harvest. A further 9 years must pass before another harvest can be made – this helps to ensure that cork is a sustainably harvested resource.
Recycling corks ensures the natural materials used to make them are not wasted by being sent to landfill. The materials are reused when they are recycled into new products, making the most of the resources and decreasing the need to harvest new trees.