What should our industry be doing with yachts once they've reached the end of their natural lifecycle?
That question will serve as the focus of a one-day conference entitled ‘The Future of Yacht Recycling,' to be held in conjunction with METS 2015 at the Amsterdam RAI Conference and Exhibition Centre on November 16 (a day before METS begins).
Quaynote Communications in partnership with YachtMedia have organized the conference, which is supported by show organizers and ICOMIA (the International Council of Marine Industry Associations).
Conference organizers point to the boat boom years of the 70s and 80s as well as the mass production of GRP yachts from long-life composite construction materials as presenting the marine industry with significant economic and environmental challenges.
Six years ago, Sandy Cove Marine Recycler's Don Ford in cooperation with Ryerson University and Nad-Core (an environmental shredding company based in Midhurst, Ontario) made efforts to launch an old boat recyclers program in Honey Harbour, Ontario. The premise of the project was to use the recycled fibreglass fragments of a boat as either insulation or in a concrete mixture with construction applications. Despite initial promise, the program never got off the ground.
The Future of Yacht Recycling
The conference agenda at the Amsterdam RAI will cover several relevant topics related to the challenges posed by a surplus of aging fibreglass hulls as well as the issues that may have played a role in preventing Ontario's program from taking off. These topics include:
• The scale of the challenge presented by end-of-life boats.
• The end-of-life yacht dismantling process.
• GRP/ composite material recycling
• Transportation and sectioning of large structures
• Who pays, and how do we fund dismantling and recycling of yachts in the future?
Organizers believe the conference is relevant to a wide spectrum of parties and are calling upon marina operators, boat manufacturers, local authorities, charter fleet operators, waste disposal companies, water management authorities, naval architects, marine engineers, logistics/transport providers, materials manufacturers, yacht clubs, marine associations and recycling organizations to attend.