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Company near deal on abandoned-boat recycling

American Fiber Green Products announced this week that negotiations are advancing on a possible joint venture with Florida partners to facilitate the recycling of abandoned and salvage boats from Florida rivers and tributaries and the Gulf of Mexico.

More than 100 acres of land have been identified in west-central Florida to accommodate a fiberglass boat recycling operation, according to Ken McCleave, chairman of the board of American Fiber Green Products. The property's owner has agreed to make the property available in conjunction with a third entity equipped with barges and other equipment required to raise the Coast Guard-estimated 9,000 boats that lie in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

“Florida, like many other states, struggles with the number of boats left abandoned, both in the waterways and on land,” McCleave said in a statement. “Our ability to process fiberglass and recycle to new marketable products will be the catalyst to a successful business venture.”

It is anticipated that a boat recycling depot can be operating in the next 90 to 120 days. Many states have funds earmarked specifically for abandoned boat programs.

"In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and other storms, our coastal states have been littered with thousands of boats,” company president Daniel Hefner. “In the cleanup after the storm, salvagers stripped boats of their valuable electronics and metals, leaving the fiberglass shells behind as eyesores to the landscape and hazards in the shallow waterways.”

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