Back in 2004, we had a long-range vision of people being able to sell their wine corks to us. Of course, we did expect them to drink the wine first and recycle the heavy glass bottle (glass is HIGHLY recyclable – shame on you if you throw it into the trash !!). We envisioned women’s clubs, church groups, even girl or boy scouts and school organizations (enlisting the assistance of their legally aged parents, who would be the consumers of the alcoholic beverages, of course !!) collecting corks and getting paid for them.
Trying to do something useful with wine corks has proven more difficult and complicated than we at first expected. After all, we had experience in building such an enterprise from the ground up, grassroots style. Ten long years later, which included a major global economic collapse and unexpected production difficulties, both slowing our progress in realizing our vision – our whole wine cork recycling program continues to adapt, to fit the ever-changing realities. And certainly, creating something of quality and easy to use in construction projects, such as our Origins material (made from milk jugs and other HDPE #2 containers) has been – had it’s own fits and starts, bumps and setbacks – that is simply the nature of any entrepreneurial enterprise.
So, we are VERY HAPPY to announce –
You could now earn 1/2¢ for EVERY CORK you collect and send in to us.
Because we have wanted to do this for a very long time, it is like the fulfillment of a cherished desire to take this step with our Wine Cork effort. For the last decade, many people and organizations have sent us their “used” wine corks – at their expense – so that they could be recycled and in the process supporting us with enough raw material to develop the Wine Cork Tile product that we had identified as a usable end-product.
More details are available at our website under this Wine Cork category – Wine Cork Recycling & Purchasing – but I will share highlights with you in this blog and tell you where you can send these.
You need to collect at least 15 lbs of cork before submitting these for payment. We ask you to be diligent in what you submit to us because only full cylinder, real corks will be paid for. You may include whole cork, twin cap and agglomerated wine cork stoppers. If you need help identifying these types, you can google them or visit a website like Cork Link for descriptions of the different kinds of cork stoppers.
We can not pay you for broken corks, gnawed corks (yes, over the years we have actually received a few with the obvious marks !!), Champagne corks, tapered corks, cork coasters, cork sheet, synthetic stoppers, corks attached to or containing wood, metal, plastic, ceramic, glass, plastic, wax, string, paint, glue, wire or any other non-cork material. We have received blobs of corks that had been glued together (? someone’s failed craft project ?) and we have not minded all of these things coming to us, which we have had to find appropriate homes for because we simply were not going to landfill any of this !! We were simply thrilled that ALL of you were willing to make this effort and even incur a small cost to do so.
You can send your packages of collected “real” corks (as described above) to this address –
Yemm & Hart
Wine Cork Purchasing
425 N Chamber Dr
Fredericktown MO 63645
You need to put on top of your corks, before sealing your package, this information in this format, if you wish to be paid for it (cork donations will always be accepted in the manner that we have accepted them for the last 10 years). Your name and mailing address clearly printed on an 8-1/2″ x 11″ letter size paper. Please attach to this paper, a copy of the printed receipt showing the amount you paid (to the post office, at a UPS store, whatever carrier you choose) to send the package. We can only reimburse you for the UPS business rate or a lower amount (your actual) to ship your package to us. We suggest you chose the lowest cost provider conveniently available to you.
We will process your corks for payment as quickly as we can but you should allow us up to 45 days to do this (this is not a get money quick scheme but a serious effort to repay you for your effort involved). We will have to inspect the contents of each package and weigh the submitted corks, as well as carefully check these for any non-payable additions. Those packages that contain any of the non-acceptable items will be penalized by the weighed amount of those items, and a percentage of the total contents calculated and applied, as a charge against the maximum payment for cork and shipping.
Obviously, we can’t be responsible for packages said to be lost in transit. Also, those packages without an identifying letter (as described above) along with the shipping cost receipt will simply have their contents recycled and no payment will be tendered.
Thank you for your donations and participation in our wine cork recycling effort. We look forward to helping organizations raise funds by having cork collection drives and paying anyone who wants to be paid for their corks, as long as these meet the criteria described in this blog or at our website.
Cheers !! CORK – it’s the REAL thing.
~ Information Resources
Wine Cork Recycling & Purchasing -http://www.yemmhart.com/materials/winecork/wine_cork_recycling.html
Different kinds of cork stoppers/closures and their uses at CorkLink.com – http://www.corklink.com/index.php/different-kinds-of-cork-stoppersclosures-and-their-uses/
Blog author ~ Deborah Hart Yemm is co-founder of
Yemm & Hart, a green materials producer