Disposal of Old Marine Flares

October 2019 News

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is urging San Mateo County boaters to take advantage of a marine flare collection event to be held Saturday, Nov. 2, at Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay and Oyster Point Marina in South San Francisco. The event is a pilot project intended to help develop future collection opportunities for recreational boaters.

Funded by a grant by CalRecycle, the San Mateo County Environmental Health Services Household Waste Hazardous Waste Program in partnership with the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways and the California Coastal Commission is offering the collection event only to recreational boaters who are residents of San Mateo County or who berth a vessel in the county, and only recreational boat marine-signaling devices will be accepted. This excludes flares from commercial vessels, military, businesses or organizations.

To drop off old, damaged, or expired hand-held boat flares, aerial flares and smoke signals, boat owners are strongly encouraged to register to make an appointment by contacting Wesley Won, Hazardous Materials Waste Specialist: 650-655-6217 or wwon@smcgov.org. Drop off times at Pillar Point Harbor are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Oyster Point Marina from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Marine flares are carried aboard recreational boats in the event a vessel may need to signal for emergency response. Because of a mandated 42-month expiration date from the date of manufacture, marine flares need to be replaced about every three seasons of boating. Yet, there are currently only two collection sites in California that will accept and dispose of outdated flares. This presents a safety hazard and disposal challenge for San Mateo County boat owners.

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