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Cape Cod Boat Shrink Wrap Recycling Program Diverts Valuable Plastics from Landfills 

Image is of covered boats with a sunset sky. Text reads: Cape Cod Boat Shrink Wrap Recycling, April 1st to June 30th, 2024. Bring clean, rolled wrap to transfer stations in Bourne, Chatham, Eastham, Falmouth and Wellfleet. More info can be found at the link

Boaters and marinas benefit from an easy and convenient recycling program run by Cape Cod Cooperative Extension and WHOI Sea Grant. 

March 18, 2024 (Barnstable, MA) – This spring, boaters across Cape Cod have easy access to plastic wrap recycling at five town transfer stations, running from April 1 to June 30. No fees or stickers are necessary for drop-off. Locations include Bourne Int. Solid Waste Management Facility, Chatham Transfer Station, Eastham Transfer Station, Falmouth Waste Management Facility, and Wellfleet Transfer/Recycling Center. Operating hours vary for each location, ensuring convenience for all. 

The Cape Cod shrink wrap recycling program preserves the region’s coastal environment and reduces waste. It is a partnership between Barnstable County’s Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Sea Grant, and the towns of Bourne, Falmouth, Chatham, Eastham, and Wellfleet.  

“As a coastal community, the environment is a high priority in Barnstable County,” says Kari Parcell, the regional waste reduction coordinator for Cape Cod Cooperative Extension. “We’re grateful to the towns and their staff for their time and willingness to cover the costs, serve as host locations for the program, and help keep Cape Cod a beautiful place to live.”  

The collections, which are located at the five towns’ transfer stations, run from April 1 to June 30. There is no fee or sticker required for residents to drop-off boat shrink wrap, but the wrap must be properly prepared for recycling or it will not be accepted. Instructions, collection locations, hours, and program information can be found at  

Boat shrink wrap cannot be put into curbside recycling carts and bins.  To be recycled, shrink wrap must be free of plastic strapping, ties, vents or zippered doors, which, if left on, will contaminate the recycling stream. Residents should make sure their wrap is free of these items before bringing it to the town waste management facility or risk being turned away.  

“Strapping, ropes and other non-shrink wrap materials can cause problems when we take the material to the recycler,” says Stephanie Murphy of WHOI Sea Grant. “The good news is there’s an easy way to take the wrap off the boat while removing the strapping and other contaminants at the same time. Just cut the plastic wrap around the belly of the boat: the straps fall away and the plastic can then be folded and rolled for recycling.”  

A how-to video is available on the WHOI Sea Grant website along with other information about how to prepare the wrap for recycling. The site also includes a video describing how to re-use shrink wrap for multiple seasons – something boaters may not know is possible and can save them money.    

Cape Cod boatyards and marinas interested in recycling shrink wrap can contact the program organizers at to inquire about participation. In 2023, the Cape Cod shrink wrap recycling partnership successfully collected and recycled 22 tons of shrink wrap, facilitated by a materials recycling facility (MRF) operated by Republic Services in Brockton, which baled and sold the material on the commodities market. The participating towns covered the transportation costs to the MRF and recycling fees. 

More information about the Cape Cod Shrink Wrap Recycling Program is available at  

Cape Cod Cooperative Extension is the education department for Barnstable County. Educational programs focus on agriculture, marine resources, horticulture, aquaculture, natural resources, water quality, recycling, household hazardous waste, nutrition, food safety, youth development, and the county’s environmental education issues. Extension programs are conducted in Barnstable County in cooperation with the University of Massachusetts and The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution–Sea Grant program. Learn more at 

ABOUT BARNSTABLE COUNTY REGIONAL GOVERNMENT OF CAPE CODBarnstable County provides exemplary government functions and services to keep our community healthy and safe, promote sustainable growth, and offer a proactive, open government that enhances the quality of life for the citizens of Barnstable County. 

MEDIA CONTACT Kari Parcell, Municipal Assistance Coordinator  #508-375-6974,