It takes a committee, in this case The Rye Sustainability Committee, to come up with a simple plan and quietly execute it.
Their latest endeavor, Put A Cork In It, is a prime example.
Committee member Gretchen Crowley, who led the project, said they were looking for something all the dining and wining establishments could get involved with. Rather than tossing corks, which can’t be reused, in the trash, why not start a local initiative to ensure that more of them are recycled, she posited.
Crowley learned from another Rye resident, Karen Bresolin, that she had initiated an effort with American Yacht Club.
As of February 13, nearly every restaurant, club, and liquor shop in town has signed on to the Rye Sustainability Cork Recycling Campaign:
American Yacht Club
Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse
G Griffin Wines & Spirits
Kelly’s Sea Level
Manursing Island Club
Morgans Fish House
Rosemary and Vine
Ruby’s Oyster Bar & Bistro
Rye Grill & Bar
The Rye Roadhouse
The Red Pony
Shenorock Shore Club
Westchester Country Club
Wine at Five
Some establishments have placed cardboard boxes near their entrance, others have put glass bowls on the bar where customers are free to deposit corks taking up space in their kitchen drawers.
The Sustainability Committee partnered with ReCORK, the biggest natural cork recycling program in North America, which supplies receptacles for the used corks which are mailed at no cost back to them and ground down and used in making, among other things, yoga blocks, surfboard traction pads, and shoe soles.
ReCORK, which currently has 3,000 drop-off locations, is proud to report that through its alliances with businesses and organizations, it has collected 70 million natural corks.
For their part, the Rye Sustainability Committee is content to have helped Rye businesses reduce the amount of waste they put in the waste stream.
The Committee, which wrote a Sustainability Plan for the City of Rye; pushed for a Reusable Bag Initiative adopted by the City; started the Rye Tree Fund; and created the Healthy Yard Program, is already working on its next environmental education and awareness act.
In doing their homework, they discovered that plastic straws are among the top ten waste items on beaches. Five hundred million straws are used in the U.S. every day! The Committee made a presentation on the subject at the Chamber of Commerce earlier this month and has already reached out to the Pearl Restaurant Group (Ruby’s, Rye Grill, Morgans) and Rosemary and Vine, who’ve signed on to no longer use plastic straws. During Earth Week, they are screening “Straws: Making a Sea of Change, One Straw at a Time,” a film by Linda Booker with narration by Tim Robbins, at Rye Country Day School, which has been a steady supporter of the RSC. For free tickets and a free reusable straw, register at eventbrite.com.
— Robin Jovanovich
Good morning. I thought you/Rye Record might be interested in one of RSC’s most recent initiatives – “Put a Cork In It”. It’s a recycling initiative designed to encourage cork recycling by food establishments and residents. The goal is to encourage more recycling through a simple community exercise. More information and the list of participating businesses/clubs (now 20) can be found in the link below. Gretchen Crowley, copied here, has spearheaded the program and can answer any further questions.
I’m also copying Melissa Grieco and Annalise Stack, RSC’s new Chair and Vice Chair, respectively.