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Recycling fiberglass boats

Postby silverking » April 15th, 2019, 9:32 am

Interesting piece from BoatUS:

Can Boats Be Recycled?

Rhode Island pilot project aims to make recreational boats more earth-friendly

BRISTOL, R.I., April 15, 2019 – When Earth Day was created in 1970, mainstream America was largely tuned out to the benefits of recycling. Fast forward nearly half a century, however, to Earth Day 2019 (April 22) and it’s fairly common to see local paper, glass and plastic recycling programs. But what about boats? A pilot project by recreational marine industry businesses in the state of Rhode Island aims to finally find a solution for recycling boats.

The challenge today is that the most common way to dispose of an old boat is to crush and bury the pieces in a landfill where the fiberglass (essentially plastic) degrades slowly. Some boats are abandoned, left derelict by their owners or lost to storms, potentially creating navigation hazards or causing environmental harm to waterways.

Begun in 2018, the Rhode Island Fiberglass Vessel Recycling (RIFVR) Pilot Project aims to address the disposal issue for the high number of recreational fiberglass boats reaching the end of their service lives, largely as a result of the boat building boom of the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Between 2003 and 2012 alone, about 1.5 million recreational boats in the U.S. were “retired.”

The pilot project has now collected 20 tons of recycled material and is preparing to process the material to supply to concrete plants, where it will be used as an energy source and as a filler for concrete products according to Evan Ridley of the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA), the project’s sponsor.

As part of the pilot expected to be completed later this year, RIMTA will also conduct an economic analysis of the pilot program to help determine long-term feasibility, investigate legislation and regulations supportive of fiberglass boat recycling, document lessons learned and develop resources to aid other fiberglass recycling programs.

“This is an issue that no one has solved yet, but one we think about every day,” said BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water President Chris Edmonston. “No one wishes to see derelict boats on our waters. RIFVR could show the nation a more environmentally friendly solution to boat disposal, and we look forward to the findings and hopefully expanding the program.”

The Pilot Project was made possible with support from 11th Hour Racing, the Association of Marina Industries, BoatUS Foundation Grassroots Grant Program and the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation.


About the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water:

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Funded primarily by donations from the more than half-million members of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the nonprofit provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America's waterways and keeping boating safe for all. A range of boating safety courses – including 36 free state courses – can be found at BoatUS.org/Courses.

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Re: Recycling fiberglass boats

Postby Scoop Sea » April 16th, 2019, 9:24 am

I'm glad they are looking at options for these vessels. During Hurricane Irma we dealt with hundreds of displaced fiberglass vessels down in the Keys that had to be destroyed. Unfortunately, they ended up crushed and in a landfill. Although the actual amount of fiberglass being recycled via the proposal in the article is unknown, any amount is better than none. I suspect that the majority of the recycled material will be used as "energy" (a term the article denotes), i.e. fuel for the concrete plants, etc, however, it's my opinion that using the fiberglass as fuel is still better than having it sit in a landfill.

Thanks for sharing the article.
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Re: Recycling fiberglass boats

Postby ropeman » April 18th, 2019, 7:15 am

Seems like recycled fiberglass would be great to use in concrete. I remember when I was looking at different materials that Seacast used recycled fibers.

Seacast™ is a synthetic material made from a mix of proprietary ingredients and recycled fiberglass fibers. Seacast™ is Green! it has 35% recycled FRP which gives it it's secret strength.
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Re: Recycling fiberglass boats

Postby cody0707 » April 19th, 2019, 1:28 pm

What are the options, currently available, in our area for hull disposal?
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