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Where to recycle your odd post-holiday discards in Sacramento

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Where do you recycle all those holiday event or dinner corks in Sacramento? You might check out the article, "GRAS : Green Restaurant Alliance Sacramento." According to that article about GRAS, the Green Restaurant Alliance, Sacramento, chefs from Winters to Elk Grove tout local and organic produce on their menus, but an industry group is helping them do much, much more. Also see, "ReCork America Needs 300,000 Wine Corks to Yield a Ton."

So what happens to all those discarded corks from bottles? The Green Restaurant Alliance is a coalition of chefs, staff, diners, local growers, wineries, distributors, vendors, and municipalities dedicated to making Sacramento a leading sustainable food community and a leader in the green restaurant industry. Program areas include Composting, Cork Recycling, Water Conservation, Recycling, Local Farms/Produce, Beverage containers, to-go containers and a Legislative watch on related issues. Check out the GRAS site. If you have items to recycle in Sacramento, check out the site, Local Where To Recycle - Or see, "Miscellaneous | Californians Against Waste."

Do you know where to recycle items locally? Or how recycling of specific items got started elsewhere?

When it comes to wine corks, Yemm & Hart located in Fredericktown, Missouri recycles old wine and champagne corks sent in by consumers into wall and floor tiles. The corks are are recycled into tiles. And Terracycle is an eco-friendly organization that makes awesome products from non-recycled items, for example, potato chip bags.

Who recycles flip flop slippers? The UniqueEco brand created the Recycled Flip Flop Maridadi Bracelet from the thousands of flip flops that wash up on the shores of Kenya's Kiunga Marine National Reserve. The bracelets and other items are made by local men and women who collect them for fair trade wages, according to the article, "Surprising Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle."

What do you do with all those used, torn pantyhouse?

You recycle them. For example, the firm No Nonsense will turn pantyhose into such things as park benches, playground equipment, carpets, ropes and even toys. Simply download the mailing label and ship the pantyhose, notes the article, "Surprising Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle."
What happens to discarded egg cartons? Expanded polystyrene (eps) used in egg cartons and many fast food restaurants recycle those things. Some people even use old pantyhose that's not torn to filter lint from clothing being rinsed in their washing machine before the lint goes down the drain of the sink next to the washing machine.

Check out the YouTube video on how Recycle Tech Corporation recycles eps into house insulation

Curbside recycling for individuals with items to dispose of offers far less than companies get when they recycle their products because they have a lot more volume that an individual person using a product with a few containers or wrappers to discard each week.

You may wish to check out the company called Roofs to Roads. They recycle old shingles, grinding them up and then mixes them with hot asphalt to pave roads, notes the article, "Surprising Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle,"

What do you do with your old, used bras? Besides donating them to various thrift stores, if your bra is still wearable and in good condition, and you washed it thoroughly, you can donate it to the Bosom Buddy Program. The program will then donate your old bra to a woman in need, whether through shelters or other programs that help women gain self-sufficiency. This is helpful for those who lost or gained weight and still have clothing in good shape that don't fit. See, "Top 20 Ways To Reuse and Recycle Bras | Green Eco Services." Or check out the site, "Bosom Buddy Program Supports Women / Sacramento Press."

Hotel soaps and shampoos that guests never opened can be sent to Clean the World, which is a non-profit group that’s collecting these discarded materials from hotels for redistribution around the world. Clean the World has put over 21,000 soap bars and 50 gallons of shampoo and conditioner back into human use, simultaneously eliminating over 4 tons of waste, according to the article, "Surprising Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle," which is on the website, "Californians Against Waste."

If you have ski equipment you no longer use, donate it to the Colorado-based Boulder Ski Deals which accepts ski boots (along with skis, bindings, poles and snowboards) for recycling, donating usable equipment to charitable programs and shredding the rest for re-use in making new products. If you know of more places that recycle unique, strange or hard-to-recycle items, Californians Against Waste may be able to use the information. Please email them at and check out their website. Also locally, you can check out the site, California County Waste and Recycling Resources if you want to recycle items.

How to recycle cork in Sacramento is to save it--example--your used wine or salad oil bottle corks that are pure cork

Don't mix in plastic or metal bottle tops. Just pure cork. Then deposit them in the recycling places that take cork in Sacramento. You can also email Check out the website, ReCork America.

Save your wine bottle corks and recork America by recycling the corks in the recycled cork jar at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, located at 1900 Alhambra Blvd, Sacramento. You can make a difference one wine bottle cork at a time. Some salad oil bottles also come with corks similar to wine-bottle corks. Check out the ReCork America website. See, "Recycle wine corks through ReCork America - Tasting Table."

Corks grow in the Mediterranean area, and come from cork trees

The tree isn't cut down when the bark is harvested. When you recycle old wine or salad bottle corks, it's natural cork from trees and is recycled to make everything from footwear, flooring tiles, insulation, automotive gaskets, craft materials, soil conditioner, and sports equipment. Maybe you can even think of other items that can be made from recycled cork. So don't throw away those pure corks when you pull them out of food bottles.

There's a worldwide interest in sustainable living and saving items that come from trees, including cork trees. There's a grassroots program called ReCork America that started in 2007 up in Oregon to reclaim one ton of natural cork. By 2008, the program exceeded its target and had two tons. The program continues. Basically, the cork recyclers need your cork in Sacramento and anywhere else.

A lot of cork is grown in Portugal. Amorim & Irmaos is the world's largest producer of natural cork wine closures with more than 3 billion sold each year. They have U.S. sales affiliates, Amorim Cork America and Portocork America. These affiliates have joined forces with the wineries, restaurants, wine shops, key retailers, and environmental organizations in California and the Pacific Northwest to recycle and reclaim as well as reuse natural cork wine stoppers.

Did you know that it takes about 100,000 champagne corks or almost 300,000 wine corks to give just one ton (2,000 lbs) of cork?

Each year just for the wine industry worldwide, more than 13 billion natural cork wine stoppers are produced. Why cut up so much tree bark? That's why for sustainability, you need to recycle your old wine bottle corks. World forested areas of cork account for almost 6 million acres.

Portugal produces 70 percent of worldwide cork. Did you know that a natural wine cork keeps about 9 grams of carbon dioxide? In the USA, the total number of corks sold by Portocork America and Amorim Cork America each year is nearly 450 million. This reduces carbon dioxide emissions by about 800 tons. So corks are a sustainable resource. They're 100 percent recyclable, biodegradable, and environmentally-friendly.

A cork tree has a long life span

It can live 200 years or more. But it can be harvested every decade. Cork farmers don't cut down their cork trees. A part of the bark is taken.

We need more cork forests because they maintain the ecosystems where they grow, in Mediterranean weather. The forests make an impact on weather patterns, soil health, wildlife habitat, carbon dioxide uptake and help moderate global warming in various regions.

So if you want sustainability and also want to reduce your carbon signature, here in Sacramento, recycle that cork wine bottle stopper. If you go to the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op in midtown, you'll see a glass container where you can drop off your used corks. Or check out the other recycling areas in Sacramento, listed below. The ReCork America website also has a search engine that lists recycling places for cork in other areas of the USA.

Where in Sacramento can you drop off your old wine bottle corks?

Brew Ferment Distill
3527 Broadway Ste A
Sacramento, CA, 95817
58 Degrees & Holding Co.
1217 18th Street
Sacramento, CA, 95811
Sheraton Grand Hotel
1230 J Street
Sacramento, CA, 95814
Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op
1900 Alhambra Blvd, Sacramento



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