American Fiber Green Products Inc. said negotiations have advanced on a possible joint venture with unnamed Florida partners for the recycling of abandoned and salvaged boats in the state’s waters and the Gulf of Mexico.
The company, a Tampa, Fla.-based fiberglass waste recycling business, said in a news release that it has identified more than 100 acres of land in west central Florida for a fiberglass boat recycling operation. The property's owner has agreed to make the land available in conjunction with a third entity equipped with barges and other equipment required to raise the boats. The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that 9,000 boats lie in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
American Fiber said it believes it can begin operating a boat recycling depot in the next 90 to 120 days. The company will offer pickup service and an owner drop-off option.
Company President Daniel Hefner said the partners already have made plans to acquire up to an additional 300 acres to accommodate the recycling venture.
American Fiber processes fiberglass and recycles it into new products. Florida, like many states, faces numerous boats left abandoned on water and land. Many states have funds specifically for abandoned boat programs. “We expect to be able to replicate this operation in multiple states in conjunction with other fiberglass manufacturing trim disposal," Hefner said.