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Where to recycle your old fishing line
Recycle

Where to recycle your old fishing line

Here’s where you can recycle your used fishing line — and why you should.

Fishing lines pose a major threat to wildlife when they’re improperly discarded.

Over 1 million birds die each year after getting tangled or caught on tossed or ripped fishing lines. Animals can also accidentally ingest the fishing line, causing internal health problems. And the monofilament line — the cheapest and most popular variety — is not biodegradable, meaning it can take hundreds of years to break down.

The good news is that monofilament fishing line can be recycled. Unfortunately, you can’t just place it in your recycling bin. You’ll need to find (or make) a special bin for the monofilament line to ensure that it ends up in the right place

What happens to my fishing line after it’s recycled?

While recycled fishing lines cannot be used to make more fishing lines, it can be turned back into fishing gear. The Berkley Pure Fishing Company, which invented the monofilament fishing line, also operates the only large-scale fishing line recycling program in the country. Berkley has been recycling monofilament lines since 1990, with over 9 million miles of line successfully recycled. Berkley’s website touts the installation of over 17,000 bins across the country, with the help of wildlife organizations, local governments, retailers, marinas, and even individuals building and placing the bins.

Berkley melts the recycled line into plastic pellets, which can then be used to make items such as spools, tackle boxes, and fish habitats.

Sounds great! How and where can I recycle my line?

First, check to make sure that your line is recyclable. If you have a single-strand, nylon monofilament fishing line, you’re good to go. If your line is braided or contains wire, you will have to put it in the trash (make sure to place it in a receptacle with a lid, and cut the line into pieces 6 inches or shorter to prevent any animals from getting tangled in it).

Once you’ve confirmed that your line is recyclable, make sure to remove any hooks and lures, as these cannot be recycled.

Finally, bring your fishing line down to one of the following locations (click this link for specific details on bin locations within the parks):

  • Green Lane Park
  • Upper Schuylkill Valley Park
  • Lower Perkiomen Valley Park
  • Norristown Farm Park
  • Lorimer Park

Bins will sport an opening made of PVC pipe and look something like this:

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

If you can’t make it out to one of the above locations, don’t fret — you can mail your ready-to-recycle fishing line to the Berkley Conservation Institute in Iowa, which processes the bulk of monofilament recycling in the U.S. Ship your line to the following address:

Berkley Recycling

1900 18th Street

Spirit Lake, Iowa 51360

If you’re interested, you can even build your own recycling bin with this video tutorial! Just build the bin, put up signage, and ship the contents to Berkley when the bin fills up.

Cover image courtesy of Wikipedia


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Sophie Brous is an editorial intern at Green Philly. Born and raised in NYC, she now attends Haverford College, where she majors in linguistics. When she's not writing, she can be found exploring cities, making arts and crafts, and finding ways to live a greener lifestyle. View all posts by Sophie Brous

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