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SHIPBOARD POLLUTION CONTROL: U.S. Navy Compliance With MARPOL Annex V
there are 107 incinerators on Navy ships capable of burning 70 percent of the total Navy paper and plastic waste. For purposes of this discussion, the committee focuses on the capabilities of incineration in the context of the Annex V materials.
Information provided by the Navy (U.S. Navy, 1993) is given in Table 3.1, which lists the amount of paper generated and the incinerator capacity for the various classes of ships. Aircraft carriers appear to have more than adequate capacity to burn all paper generated, as do a significant fraction of auxiliaries and amphibious ships (the numbers for the latter categories are ambiguous because the number of ships that will remain in commission after 1998 is uncertain). These incinerators may not provide features offered in more modern equipment (for example, automatic feed, automatic combustion controls, and ash-handling apparatus), but, in many cases, they could provide for the needs of their respective ships while operating well below incineration capacity. The total paper generated on an aircraft carrier over a mission comes to over 20,000 ft3 compacted, and this is more than an order of magnitude larger than the volume of a large incinerator. Thus, incineration of paper is justified on large ships with large complements and long missions.
The other classes listed in Table 3.1 have no incinerator facilities. Additional information provided by the Navy (U.S. Navy, 1993) for these ships is included in Table 3.2. On the basis of available information on the sizes of small incinerators, the committee concludes that incineration could be justified except for the smallest ships; for the smaller ships, the best strategy could be compaction and storage of paper over the duration of the mission. The addition of metal, glass, and plastics in compacted form would increase the required storage volume by less than 25 percent, and the committee concludes that the rationale would be unchanged if all Annex V materials were handled by adding compaction and storage.
Food waste contamination has not been considered in the foregoing argument. If the Annex V materials are contaminated with food waste, storage can become a problem because of the development of odors and possibly pathogens. If this is a problem, the case for installation of incinerators is much stronger. This factor, taken together with the benefits flowing from installation of an integrated system capable of handling all of a ship's waste streams, could increase the number of ships for which incineration is applicable.
Table 3.1 Paper Generated by and Incinerator Capacity of U.S. Navy Ships