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Department of Solid Waste Management

Boat Flares

Boat Flare Disposal Program

Welcome to the East Coast's pioneering Boat Flare Disposal Program, launched in 2023 to address the need for safe and responsible disposal of boat flares. This project is a joint effort of the Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management and the Fire Academy, with the support of our Board of Commissioners, on an innovative pilot program to address the nationwide lack of disposal outlets for expired marine flares.

Our Boat Flare Disposal program has been recognized with the prestigious 2023 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award in the category of Sustainability (Community).

The US Coast Guard mandates that all boats navigating both Intercostal and Inland Waters carry distress signaling devices suitable for night use. Regular flares, sold in packs of four and expiring every four years, are a common choice for boaters, these flares are explosives representing a disposal challenge.

Regulatory Compliance To ensure the program's viability, a Research, Development, & Design (RD&D) permit was issued by the NJDEP. Additionally, an open burning permit was obtained to comply with air quality requirements. This meticulous approach not only guarantees the safety of the disposal process but also sets a precedent that may lead to the NJDEP creating a permitting program for similar activities in the future.

How it Works Boaters can now safely dispose of expired flares through designated collection events.. This ensures that hazardous materials are handled responsibly, protecting both the environment and public safety. In 2023 we hosted 2 events (Spring & Fall) 2024 dates will be announced early Spring.

Pre-registration is required, click here to register

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