Cork Recycling Starts in Centralia & Morton

The Lewis County Solid Waste Utility now collects natural corks from wine and champagne bottles for recycling.

The Central Transfer Station, 1411 S. Tower Ave., Centralia, is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and the East Lewis County Transfer Station in Morton is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The corks will be ground up and made into new products, such as cork flooring, cork boards and wine shipping containers. Cork is a natural, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable material obtained through an environmentally friendly harvesting process. Trees are not cut down to harvest cork. The bark is stripped by hand every 9 to 12 years. Cork oak trees can live up to 300 years.

The cork recycling program is a partnership with the Cork Forest Conservation Alliance’s Cork ReHarvest program. This non-profit group promotes the use of cork and helps educate the public on the Mediterranean cork forests’ high level of biodiversity, environmental sustainability and economic resources.

In addition to the new program, the transfer station has a number of other free recycling opportunities. Customers can recycle glass bottles and jars separated by color; cardboard; scrap metal and commingled materials, which include plastic bottles and jugs, dairy and yogurt containers, newspapers, magazines, office paper, aluminum cans and tin cans.

Questions about the new cork recycling program or recycling in general can be directed to the Utility at 360-740-1452.

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