Rhode Island launches fiberglass recycling initiative

The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) has taken aim at recycling end-of-life recreational fiberglass boats.

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The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA, Bristol, RI, US) has taken aim at addressing the problem of the increasing number of recreational fiberglass boats that reach their end-of-life in the US. The project, known as the Rhode Island Fiberglass Vessel Recycling Project, will focus on the dismantling and re-processing of fiberglass hulls into cement as an alternative to sending them to the landfill.

Between 2003 and 2012 it is estimated that two million recreational craft (an average of 210,000 per year) were retired in the US, according to surveys by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (Chicago, IL, US).

The scope of the Rhode Island Fiberglass Vessel Recycling Project includes the following:

  • Piloting the dismantling and processing activities of 60-100 metric tons of fiberglass vessels in partnership with local boatyards.
  • Partnering with local, state and federal agencies to design the process to meet all health and safety requirements.
  • Conducting an economic analysis of the pilot program to determine long-term feasibility.
  • Investigating legislation and regulations necessary to support fiberglass hull recycling.
  • Documenting lessons learned and develop resources to aid in fiberglass vessel recycling programs throughout the US and globally.