The next time you gather up your empty wine bottles for recycling, be sure to bring the corks along -- because you can now recycle those, too!

The City of Iowa City has begun accepting corks at the East Side Recycling Center, located at 2401 Scott Blvd. SE, for recycling. Johnson County residents and businesses can drop off real corks -- not corks made of plastic, metal or other materials -- in the oil and oil filter recycling shed, which is open around the clock, seven days a week. Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity ReStore also accepts corks for recycling during their regular business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 

The cork will be collected and shipped to ReCORK, where it will be recycled into new products, including new wine stoppers and shipping frames, as well as cork boards, yoga blocks, flooring tiles, sustainable footwear, and other products. One of the buildings at the East Side Recycling Center, the Environmental Education Center, features floor and ceiling tiles made from recycled cork.

While natural cork can be harvested every nine to 12 years without damage to the cork oak tree, recycling cork reduces the demand on natural resources and maintains the Mediterranean forest ecosystem where the trees are grown.

More information on ReCORK, including how businesses can become a cork drop-off location for the public, is available at

For more information on the East Side Recycling Center or the Environmental Education Center, visit or contact Recycling Coordinator Jen Jordan at or 319-887-6160.

Date of publication

Friday, January 22, 2016