CR4 - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®

Previous in Forum: Help me name my 6000 mpg vehicle!   Next in Forum: Human waste ingester
Close

Comments Format:






Close

Subscribe to Discussion:

CR4 allows you to "subscribe" to a discussion
so that you can be notified of new comments to
the discussion via email.

Close

Rating Vote:







24 comments
Anonymous Poster

Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

03/06/2008 5:28 PM

Hello. I am a student at the Univ of Minnesota and am trying to estimate the amount of fiberglass that is disposed of in landfills each year, recycled for future use, and the average costs of each. Does anyone have an idea of how and where to go about finding that type of information? (US and Canada). What are the best ways to get rid of fiberglass boats, cars, ATVs, etc that are at the end of their useful life? How long does fiberglass take to break down in a landfill? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Reply
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Guru
Engineering Fields - Environmental Engineering - New Member APIX Pilot Plant Design Project - Member - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Anywhere Emperor Palpatine assigns me
Posts: 2782
Good Answers: 101
#1

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

03/06/2008 8:29 PM
__________________
If only you knew the power of the Dark Side of the Force
Reply
Anonymous Poster
#20
In reply to #1

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

12/22/2010 8:55 AM

The link comes back saying the EPA has no documents related to "Fiberglass". Did you check the link?

Reply
Anonymous Poster
#21
In reply to #1

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

02/04/2011 7:34 AM

get a life

Reply Off Topic (Score 10)
Active Contributor

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Land of many Islands
Posts: 14
#2

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

03/07/2008 1:11 AM

I hope this would you a little,

Here are some materials with approximmated period of degradation

1. Papers = 1 to 6 monthd

2. Tin cans = about 100 years

3. Aluminum = 300 to 600 years

4. Plastics = 300 to 600 years

5. Glass = more than a million years

according to some environmentalist

__________________
Big improvement starts with small changes
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Piney Flats, Tennessee
Posts: 1752
Good Answers: 22
#3
In reply to #2

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

03/07/2008 5:38 AM

Plastic sheeting with 10 mil thinkness will breakdown in 2 1/2 years but that is from a study on the Atlantic Coast of Fla. Sea World because of the damage it does to sea turtles.

__________________
If you never do anything you never have problems.
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Piney Flats, Tennessee
Posts: 1752
Good Answers: 22
#4

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

03/07/2008 5:40 AM

Grinding up the fiberglass and some plastics and use it in paving roads. They already use some plastics.

__________________
If you never do anything you never have problems.
Reply
Commentator

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 91
Good Answers: 2
#5

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

03/08/2008 7:44 AM

The American Composites Manufacturers' Assn, http://www.acmanet.org/ should have all the info you need.

Bobguz

__________________
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance." -- Orville Wright
Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Durban, South Africa
Posts: 373
Good Answers: 7
#6

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

03/08/2008 8:25 AM

First let us get the terminology correrct. "Fibreglass or Fiberglass" is a form of glass in filament form made by companies of that name and is a trade mark. The correct term for the glass in this form is glass fibre (or fiber if you are a not from the americas).

What you seem to be referring to is glass reinforced plastic (GRP).

This would be a combination of glass fibre and a polyester or epoxy resin. This material has the advantage of being virtually undestructable - some is even fire retardent (safety requirement for buildings) and so ends up as non-recyclable - worse than bricks and mortar as it does not srush.

However the good news is that it is not a pollutant and so only has a litter value. Consider it as help[ing the carbon cycle as it lockd up the carbon which could contribute to the greenhouse gas problem.

Best thing is to put it in a hole and bury it. I think thatr dropping it into the ocean to form artificial reefs would be a good method.

__________________
You can always tell the pioneers - they are the ones with arrows in their backs.
Reply
Participant

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1
#22
In reply to #6

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

02/18/2011 2:07 AM

Fiberglass, in any form, is highly recyclable. It is used in asphalt pavement, concrete, and the manufacturing of many composites.

It is not a pollutant until it is burned (a felony in the US), is cut or ground (just as asbestos), or begins to deterioate due to a poor glass/binder (epoxy resin) mix.

Unless the vessel is in a "presentable" condition, you will not get it out of port before the CG or Port Authority is questioning you as to your intentions of towing or carrying it. Another point, most fiberglass boats are 'unsinkable' unless it is just the 'skin' or all foam has been removed and all flotation air pockets have been compromised.

Regards...carry on,

Amazonman

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Transcendia
Posts: 2972
Good Answers: 93
#7

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

03/08/2008 3:11 PM

I would estimate from my visits to the landfill, along with my other work aviation and around boats that the hard fiberglass you have focused on is very small. In construction and renovations there is a great deal of fiberglass insulation that is installed or uninstalled.

I hate about all insulation at points of installation or demolition phases.

My point is that in my experience fiberglass insulation is more often thrown into the landfill, than someones boat, or aluminum house trailer.

You do need to rate the best answer to your question. I personally reject as great answers, unexplained links to other sites. They are helpful and good to have, but a better answer summates the links imports and essential content before it throws the responsiblity to another reference.

I am short of time.

It has been a torture of my life in construction to touch or be around insulation, which is primarily fiberglass. Old dried out foam has dust tortured my cigarette lungs to a point of near death misery and job hatred. And I do wear masks.

You can easily determine the full amount of hard fiberglass, or about anything, by finding out how much was made. Golf carts, boats, some airplanes, bathtubs, are the sorts of things made from fiberglass. Whatever is made will become nonfunctional at some point. For a rough idea of fiberglass in landfills I suggest you find out how many fiberglass bathtubs and showerstalls have ever been made, and then determine how many have been torn out.

Glass does not really break down in a short time. Sand and glass are a category of dirt.

__________________
You don't get wise because you got old, you get old because you were wise.
Reply
Active Contributor

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Brockville, ON, Canada
Posts: 13
#12
In reply to #7

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

04/09/2008 3:13 PM

I often wonder if "hard" fiberglass can be pulverized, ground, etc. and reused as an aggregate (polymer concrete) or thixotropic agent.

It would be very cheap to obtain, as there is normally a disposal fee.

Most "hard" fiberglass is unfortunately going to landfills.

Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Retired Engineers / Mentors - New Member

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Brecksville, OH
Posts: 1398
Good Answers: 17
#8

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

03/08/2008 4:59 PM

I dont know whether a process exists to do so currently, but reading all the posts about the near destructiveness of FRP and fiberglass, I would suggest using it as a filler in plastic (or other) bricks or wood replacement lumber and selling it for building homes. Especially in the third world where conditions for degradation of lumber (eg:termites).


My 2 cents worth.

__________________
"Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" : Will Rogers
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Van Nuys, CA
Posts: 564
Good Answers: 31
#9
In reply to #8

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

03/08/2008 5:49 PM

I dont know whether a process exists to do so currently, but reading all the posts about the near destructiveness of FRP and fiberglass, I would suggest using it as a filler in plastic (or other) bricks or wood replacement lumber and selling it for building homes.

Although not necessarily produced with recycled FRP, there is work being done with reducing/replacing wood in construction.

Structural Composite Lumber

Composite Lumber Manufacturers Association

Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Bridges

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Transcendia
Posts: 2972
Good Answers: 93
#10

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

03/09/2008 11:08 AM

I've based my estimate, (small amount), on my many trips to the Orange County Landfill on Eubanks Rd, in Chapel Hill, NC. Upon rereading your question I have decided to suggest you visit your local landfill and ask people out there your questions, even if the suggested websites provide the information you need.

In the case of boats, cars ATVs etcetera, it is not uncommon these days for Manufacturers to provide recycling recommendations. If they have not already done so, you may have a market for your research.

I always suggest to youth, students, that they take their work seriously.

Fiberglass shower stalls and bathtubs are likely to be more common and more often demoed and carted out to the landfill. I do not think they are regarded as hazardous wastes, and simply take up room like rocks and old cinderblocks, brick, and other sorts of rubble.

If you want to include in your paper a recycling plan, and apply it to fiberglass, I suggest you look at the most successful recycling system, which is illustrated by the battery recycling program.

Fiberglass insulation is hateful stuff. In its case I imagine it can be turned into something value added melted & squashed, like more fiberglas. Grinding up old boats and bathtubs to make again into more fiberglass may not be worthwile due to where fiberglass gets its strength from. It may not be cost effect to cut such things into strips on a multi bladed band saw sort of set up.

I cannot remember ever seeing a fiberglas boat or canoe at the landfill.

The people that work at landfills have arguments and stories to tell.

__________________
You don't get wise because you got old, you get old because you were wise.
Reply
Power-User
APIX Pilot Plant Design Project - Member - New Member

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bangalore, India; 12.981550 N 77.531867 E
Posts: 260
Good Answers: 8
#11

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

03/25/2008 11:59 AM

Hi

This writer has been developing various utilitarian products using different wastes. It has been recognized that different materials that are considered as "landfill materials" such as: agrowastes, fiberglass polymer composites, paper wastes, glass wastes, stone/ quarry wastes, concrete wastes ... etc have great potentials to be recycled, through converting them into Polymer Composites.

The products shown in the photo illustration here have recycled contents varying from 50% to 77%, and at least one item contains as much as 20% Glass Fiber Polymer Composites.

Many more are being developed, with a view to recycling various materials, that are otherwise problems adding to environmental degradation. By doing so, we not only gain economic, energy and business advantages, but such recycling obviates need to cut trees, reducing metal usage (thereby reducing mining operations and pollutions) and in the ultimate analyses creating conditions for GREENER atmosphere

pvhramani

__________________
Our values have to be measured by what we could offer to the society and to the world, when a "balance sheet" is drawn up at the time we leave our "foot prints on the sands of time".
Reply
Participant

Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2
#13

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

09/28/2008 4:25 PM

The problem about getting rid of a fiberglass boat or any other vehical is simply that there is no way. That is ,a way that does not put a neighborhood in jeperdy. To date in order to get rid of a fiberglass boat it to cut it up with a saw of some sort and put it in a dumpster.

Can you just imagon the fiberglass dust in the air for the neighbors ,not to mention the guy doing the work. There are thousands of old boats just in my state of N.J. waiting for some one to come up with a great idea to eat these boats and reuse the matieral. If someone comes up with the idea there's millions to be made. John

Reply
Anonymous Poster
#14

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

11/28/2008 8:59 PM

I live in Missouri and there are many old fiberglass boats that are huge eye sores for the community. I know that you cannot burn them and I am almost positive you cannot bury them in the ground or put them in landfills. My dad works at a boat retailer and they have a "boat graveyard" for these boats. The only thing I really know about getting rid of them is donating them for a tax credit. This is only if you just need to get the boat off your hands. There is no recycling involved. Just more stock piling of these disgusting boats. Someone needs to find something to do with the fiberglass of these old boats.

Tristan

Reply
Participant

Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1
#15

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

05/11/2009 4:08 PM

Hello:

Have you had any luck finding the information you are looking for?

I am researching the same topics.

Brian

Reply
Anonymous Poster
#16

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

08/19/2009 9:54 AM

Great discussion on an important topic. I represent one of North Americas largest composite fiberglass manufactures and as we seek to create more and more unique applications for glass reinforced plastics we are also researching ways to reuse fiberglass as these products reach the end of their life cycle.

As mentioned in other posts, our current strategy is crushing and screening into fine particles that can be reused as fill in future composite products or concrete applications.

If anyone wishes to explore other commercial applications or techniques for recycling fiberglass products, please contact info@formashape.com

Reply
Anonymous Poster
#17

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

08/19/2009 4:09 PM

Hellol student ant Minnesota. Right now there are people making a living on the disposal of fiberglass boats.

People cut them up with chain saws and take them to the dump. How many boats? or how much fiberglass ? I dont know how you would find out. Its treated like construction waste and is not calculated nor checked . Its just dumped. John

Reply
Anonymous Poster
#18

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

06/17/2010 9:41 AM

I am working on a project for recycling of GRP gas tanks. It's pretty much all about getting rid of the GRP for the sake of just that, there is no real money to be made from recycling.

The best idea as far as I know is to mill it and use it in cement. The plastic is used as fuel.

Reply
Anonymous Poster
#19
In reply to #18

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

07/21/2010 1:08 PM

I respectfully disagree that you must take these materials to a landfill or "just dig a hole and bury them." There is a company in Florida that has designed a recycling system for fiberglass, (FRP, GRP) basically any type of composite material. The output material is then incorporated back into production of boats, baths, spas, and other similar products, which cuts the need for the use of virgin materials by 20 - 50% and their spray-up system cuts 80 - 100% of the costs of traditional roll-out labor. I'd say that there is not only money to be saved here, there is also quite a potential for turning a profit when you're in this business and this process is cutting so many costs as well as saving money by not having to pay to have someone take away your waste material.

If you can't reuse the material yourself, or don't have the system to recycle it then there are facilities that will take the materials and even some that will pay you for them, because even in doing so they are still saving money for their companies.

For more info you can go to http://www.seawolfindustries.com

You'll see the system as well as the background info on the literal genius mind that invented it.

Good luck!!!

Reply
Participant

Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2
#23

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

02/18/2011 3:51 AM

This subject has been going on for years in here. Finaly there is someone in FLA. that is using old fiberglass boats to recycle. One for humanity, or should I say one more for humanity .There have been many strides made in the past 5 years. All we need now is a way to collect all the old boats and get them there. Or better yet we need a machine mounted on a truck that will go to the property pick up the old boat pulverize it and take it away (for a modest fee) and re use the powder. TPlumber

Reply
Participant

Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 3
#24

Re: Fiberglass Recycling and Disposal

11/22/2011 2:45 AM

I was told that a company called Seawolf was doing some early stages of recycling but they said the owner has past away. There was another inventor up in Washington State named William Amour, see YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn6PeexUF3s

But he has past away also. The last I heard there was a company in Tampa that purchased all the patent rights to that process and the equipment and is about to go into full production of a large recycling plant just for hard fiberglass FRP. The company is AMERICAN FIBER GREEN PRODUCT, see http://americanfibergreenproducts.com/
They will be taking old boats, showers, car body parts, snow mobile, jet ski, anything headed for a landfill and make it into reusable products. Everything from railroad ties, parking lot tire stops, bus stop benches, picnic benches, new boats, new automotive body parts, etc.

It is finally going to happen. There have been people waiting for this technology to come out. There are too many landfills loaded with this stuff. It will be there for hundreds of years to come. Any fluids that are on the old fiberglass items, boats, jet ski, etc that goes to the landfill, then it will leach into the water table and eventually our food chain.

Now that there is a re-cycler out there we need to get the states to mandate that all old FRP products MUST be recycled.

Reply
Reply to Forum Thread 24 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

agua_doc (1); Amazonman (1); Anonymous Poster (7); autozam (1); bobguz (1); dadw5boys (2); DVader1000 (1); envtresearch (1); hazman (1); Me2 (1); pantaz (1); pvhramani (1); Tplumber (2); Transcendian (2); Turk (1)

Previous in Forum: Help me name my 6000 mpg vehicle!   Next in Forum: Human waste ingester

Advertisement