Live Green and Earn Points


Reuse and recycle old wine bottles

By Jeff Smith |
Reusing and recycling empty wine bottles is a crucial step in becoming an eco-friendly imbiber.
Reuse and recycle old wine bottles to rein in the amount of reusable waste entering landfills and lessen the need for the energy-intensive production of glass bottles.

How to recycle old wine bottles

Start by contacting your local government or department of sanitation to find out whether there are recycling facilities in your area. Some of the more common recycling options include:
  • Curbside pick-up programs: If your community offers a curbside recycling program, use it. Check with your local government or department of sanitation regarding specific recycling services and guidelines. Some facilities require that you sort glass by color, so, if need be, don't let brown beer bottles and green wine bottles commingle even if it seems that Sad Adams and RenÌ© Junot are fast friends.
  • Drop-off centers: If you don't receive curbside recycling, seek out a local recycling drop-off center which you can find through Earth 911.
  • Bottle returns: Cart your bottles of spent Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc to a redemption center and/or return them directly to a retail store for a deposit refund. A handful of states have Bottle Bills, also known as beverage container deposit laws, that complement curbside and other recycling programs.
  • Multi-unit dwelling recycling programs: If you live in an apartment building without a designated area to dispose of recyclable items, be proactive and speak with your building's owner or superintendent about shoring up recycling efforts. And why not offer him or her a bottle of organic or biodynamic vino to sweeten the deal?
  • Cork recycling: Don't forget those corks! Send them to Yemm & Hart, a green materials company that uses old cork to produce a variety of products.
You can avoid the hassle of recycling your glass by putting away that corkscrew altogether and opting for the box. Although boxed wine may make staunch oenophiles cringe, it's a much more eco-friendly way (the boxes and wine-containing pouches are more ecologically sound to produce than glass and their lighter weight reduces both travel-associated carbon emissions and landfill bulk) to sip the sauce.

How to reuse empty wine bottles

Feeling crafty after that glass of Cabernet? Whether you drink wines from Alsace or make your own in Akron, Ohio, giving a second life to spent bottles in a creative, decor-minded fashion is a great green way to spruce up your home or apartment. So go ahead and reuse that double magnum of fancy French bubbly leftover from your wedding as a vase, or give your kitchen a romantic Italian restaurant vibe by placing candles in that old bottle of Chianti. Reusing and recycling old wine bottles helps you go green because…
  • They would otherwise end up in landfills. It takes a glass bottle about 1 million years to break down in a landfill.[2]
  • The amount of energy and resources used to create glass bottles from recycled materials is less than the amount needed to create bottles from virgin materials. Less energy means less pollution.

External links


  1. Seattle Post Intelligencer - Premium wines in a box? Tasting is believing
  2. Bergen County Utilities - Recycling Facts
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