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Hazardous Waste

Whether you realize it or not, we come into contact with hazardous waste on almost a daily basis. Take out all the cleaning and maintenance products on your boat and read the instructions on the back. These products might include cleaners, paints, solvents, varnishes, fuel, antifreeze and phosphate detergents. You might be surprised that the labels strongly caution on the uses of the materials and the methods of disposal. Most, however, just describe the method of disposal as “according to local and state laws.” Problem is, the average boater doesn’t know where to find the disposal rules. For disposal information, contact your local public works department or go to for disposal information.

You can lessen your impact on the environment by substituting non-phosphate biodegradable products such as the following:



Detergent & Soap

Elbow grease



Scouring Powders

Baking soda, or rub area with one-half lemon dipped in borax, then rinse

General Cleaner

Baking soda and vinegar, or lemon juice combined with borax paste

Floor Cleaner

One cup vinegar in 2 gallons of water

Window Cleaner

One cup vinegar + 1 qt. warm water. Rinse and squeegee

Wood Polish

Olive or almond oil (interior walls only)

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