The State of Texas is trying to combat a growing trend in the US and abroad: the number of derelict boats being abandoned along roadways, on vacant land, or worse, moored or scuttled on the water.

The Vessel Turn-In Program (VTIP) is designed to stop the problem before it is created by offering a free, safe, legal and environmentally responsible way of disposing of unwanted or inoperable boats.

The program is the creation of the Texas General Land Office (TGLO) and Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW), which working with local governments, usually in costal communities, provide a temporary drop off location – for a day or up to a week, in some communities – to provide owners with a voluntary free method for the disposal.

Boats must be free of waste and debris, fuel & oil when inspected prior to drop-off. Then, all hazardous materials such as batteries and other environmental hazards are removed before the boat is crushed and hauled to a landfill.

The program is designed for vessels up to 26ft, with larger boats accepted on a case-by-case, prearranged basis.

The program is growing in popularity with local governments around the state, which realise the cost or disposal before a boat is abandon is always less expensive than removal of a scuttled boat from an active waterway.