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How to Recycle a Boat?

Rhode Island crew is on it

      How do you get rid of a boat that has outlived its time?

         They’re not likely on the list of items that can be recycled at a local convenience center.

         Some boats are abandoned; left derelict by owners or lost to storms — creating navigation hazards and causing environmental harm to waterways.

         But most of the time, the vessel is crushed into pieces and buried in a landfill. The fiberglass, essentially plastic, degrades slowly.

         As 1.5 million recreational boats were retired in the U.S. between 2003 and 2012, there is a great need to find a solution.

         In Rhode Island, the Fiberglass Vessel Recycling Pilot Project is working on a way to recycle them.

         The program, which started last year, has collected 20 tons of recycled material and is preparing to process it to supply to concrete plants to be used for energy and as filler for concrete products.

         “The challenge is making the financial part work,” says Scott Croft of Boat Owners Association of the U.S. “You have to figure out how to deconstruct the boat, grind it up and turn it into something useful. That creates transportation costs and grinder costs, among others.”