When recycling comes to mind, usually its brings images of bottles, cans, and paper. But aircraft carriers? A new decision by the U.S. Navy to recycle four decommissioned ships instead of sinking them and turning them into artificial reefs is being lauded by environmental groups and recycling companies.
Just one of the four ships is estimated to contain 40,000 tons of recyclable steel, copper, and aluminum. And the four ships could earn around $30 million in profits from the metals, instead of costing around $20 million for each carrier sunk at sea. Furthermore, many sunken ships still contain toxic materials that can poison oceans and surrounding sea life.
So let me get this straight, recycling aircraft carriers is not only saving taxpayer dollars but is creating jobs and profits for metal recyclers and saving the ocean from harmful contaminants. Sounds like a no-brainer to me. Props to the Navy for some logical decision-making on this one.
Photo: Tugboats prepare the U.S.S. Oriskany for sinking near Pensacola, Florida in 2006. (Megan Kohr/U.S. Navy)