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Zoo's iconic cork program ends

29 May 2013

After 14 years and collecting over 62.5 million corks, the curtain is closing on Zoos Victoria’s highly successful Corks for the Elephants program.

Corks for the Elephants has been a successful fundraising initiative recycling over 250 tonnes of cork and saving it from becoming landfill.

The program raised over $374,000 with funds contributing towards the construction of Melbourne Zoo’s Trail of the Elephants exhibit and more recently, the Browse Plantation at Werribee Open Range Zoo. The program has also achieved widespread recognition in the community with cork donations coming from across Australia. 

Zoos Victoria Volunteer Program Manager Marg Joiner said: ‘This program has seen fantastic community support over the last 14 years and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to its success.

‘The volunteers associated with this project have been phenomenal, donating over 120 hours a month to help sort and distribute recycled corks.

‘In recent years, a shift in the market has seen cork no longer recycled in Victoria, and as a result the decision has been made to discontinue the program as of 30 June this year.’

Cork collection bins will be removed after 30 June, after which cork, screw top caps and plastic stoppers will no longer be accepted. 

‘Even though Corks for the Elephants is ending, we’re encouraging all those who have donated their time and their corks to help us with They’re Calling on You, a campaign that recycles old or disused mobile phones to raise money for the Zoo and to protect Gorilla habitat in the Democratic Republic of Congo,’ Ms Joiner said.

Find out more about They're Calling on You or email: