all know that recycling paper, cans and bottles is a good idea, but why
stop there? A number of marine specific products can also be recycled,
helping to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills and ensuring
proper disposal of potentially hazardous materials.
We Should Care?
Did you know that on average every American produces 4.5 lbs of solid
waste each day? That adds up quickly. Any materials that can be recycled
reduces the amount of waste that is incinerated or sent to landfills and
conserves natural resources and raw materials. Recycling prevents the
emission of many greenhouse gases and water pollutants, saves energy,
conserves resources and reduces the need for new landfills.
Did you know that
the following products may be recycled?
I can do?
- Ask your marina
what products can be recycled onsite.
- If your marina
does not offer onsite recycling, go to www.Earth911.org
to find recycling locations near you.
- As a boater, when
recycling, be sure to separate all products into their designated collection
containers. Cross-contamination of products can lead to waste disposal
- As a marina, before
creating a new recycling program ensure you have a place that will accept
the raw materials.
- When going out
on the water, take along an extra bag to separate recyclable bottles
and cans from your non-recyclable trash. Once onshore place cans and
bottles in a recycling bin or take them home for recycling.
Disposing of used oil can be a messy problem. Used oil is considered a
hazardous waste and if not handled properly it can contaminate soil and
waterways resulting in environmental damage and costly clean-up. Luckily,
it can be easily and safely recycled. In fact, recycling and rerefining
used oil uses between 50 to 85 percent less energy than refining virgin
crude oil. Check with your marina to see if they offer collection of used
oil for recycling. If they do, be sure to follow their guidelines for
handling the used oil. If your marina does not offer a used oil collection
service, check with your local automobile repair shop or look on www.Earth911.org
for a collection site near you.
Oil filters are recyclable because they're made of steel, North America's
number one recycled material. They can be recycled into new steel products,
such as cans, cars, appliances and construction materials. Recycling all
the filters sold annually in the United States would result in the recovery
enough steel to make 160,000 new cars! For used oil filter recycling locations
Shrink wrap is a low-density polyethylene cocoon used to protect boats
during the winter. Shrink wrap is not biodegradable, and can become a
disposal problem at landfills. Many marinas have started offering bulk
shrink wrap recycling programs. If your marina does not offer shrink wrap
recycling on site, there are companies that for a nominal fee will send
you a postage paid bag that can be filled with shrink warp and returned
to the company for recycling. For more information see: http://www.dr-shrink.com/
To date, flares can not be recycled but special care should be taken with
their disposal. Throwing flares in your household trash can cause a dangerous
situation and setting off old flares can result in false distress reports.
To dispose of expired flares contact your local county public works department,
police or fire department. Alternatively check with a local boating education
group. They often use old flares for educational purposes.
Batteries contain lead and sulfuric acid which are both toxic to the marine
environment. Most states have battery recycling laws which has prompted
most battery dealers to ask for your old battery upon the purchase of
a new one. When a spent battery is collected, it is sent to a permitted
recycler where, under strict environmental regulations, the lead and plastic
are reclaimed and sent to a new battery manufacturer. As a result of these
programs the typical new lead-acid battery contains 60 to 80 percent recycled
lead and plastic. For more information on where to recycle batteries see:
Monofilament line is another name for single-strand, high-density, nylon
fishing line that is used on fishing reels and in the manufacturing of
fishing nets. When disposed of improperly monofilament can be hazardous
to marine life, scuba divers and even boat propellers. In recent years
monofilament recycling programs have popped up around the country. Look
for designated collection containers near where you fish or at a local
tackle shop. If you can not find a monofilament recycling location near
you contact Berkley, (1-800-237-5539) a major manufacturer of fishing
line, for information on how you can recycle your used fishing line.
While marine-rated propylene glycol antifreeze is less toxic than “regular”
automobile-use ethylene glycol antifreeze, both products need to be handled
carefully and disposed of properly. Used antifreeze often contains other
substances including heavy metals that can be harmful to human and aquatic
health. Antifreeze can be filtered and reconditioned for reuse by licensed
professionals. For more information on where to find an antifreeze recycling
location near you go to: www.Earth911.com.