National Academies Press: OpenBook

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea (1995)

Chapter: 4 Shipboard garbage handling and storage procedures

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Suggested Citation:"4 Shipboard garbage handling and storage procedures." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
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Page 276
Suggested Citation:"4 Shipboard garbage handling and storage procedures." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
×
Page 277
Suggested Citation:"4 Shipboard garbage handling and storage procedures." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
×
Page 278
Suggested Citation:"4 Shipboard garbage handling and storage procedures." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
×
Page 279
Suggested Citation:"4 Shipboard garbage handling and storage procedures." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
×
Page 280
Suggested Citation:"4 Shipboard garbage handling and storage procedures." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
×
Page 281
Suggested Citation:"4 Shipboard garbage handling and storage procedures." National Research Council. 1995. Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans: Controlling Garbage and Plastic Wastes at Sea. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4769.
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Page 282

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APPENDIX B 276 3.5 Fishing gear, once discharged, becomes a harmful substance. Fishing vessel operators, their organizations and their respective governments are encouraged to undertake such research, technology development and regulations as may be necessary to minimize the probability of loss, and maximize the probability of recovery of fishing gear from the ocean. It is recommended that fishing vessel operators record and report the loss and recovery of fishing gear. Techniques both to minimize the amount of fishing gear lost in the ocean and to maximize recovery of same are listed below. 3.5.1 Operators and associations of fishing vessels using untended, fixed or drifting gear are encouraged to develop information exchanges with such other ship traffic as may be necessary to minimize accidental encounters between ships and gear. Governments are encouraged to assist in the development of information systems where necessary. 3.5.2 Fishery managers are encouraged to consider the probability of encounters between ship traffic and fishing gear when establishing seasons, areas and gear-type regulations. 3.5.3 Fishery managers, fishing vessel operators and associations are encouraged to utilize gear identification systems which provide information such as vessel name, registration number and nationality, etc. Such systems may be useful to promote reporting, recovery and return of lost gear. 3.5.4 Fishing vessel operators are encouraged to document positions and reasons for loss of their gear. To reduce the potential of entanglement and "ghost fishing" (capture of marine life by discharged fishing gear), benthic traps, trawl and gillnets could be designed to have degradable panels or sections made of natural fibre twine, wood or wire. 3.5.5 Governments are encouraged to consider the development of technology for more effective fishing gear identification systems. 3.6 Governments are encouraged to undertake research and technology development to minimize potential garbage and its impacts on the marine environment. Suggested areas for such study are listed below: 3.6.1 Development of recycling technology and systems for synthetic materials returned to shore as garbage; 3.6.2 Development of technology for degradable synthetic materials to replace current plastic products as appropriate. In this connection, governments should also study the impacts on the environment of the products of degradation of such new materials. 4 Shipboard garbage handling and storage procedures 4.1 Limitations on the discharge of garbage from ships as specified in Annex V are summarized in table 1. Although discharge at sea, except in special areas, of a wide range of ship-generated garbage is permitted outside specified distances from the nearest land, preference should be given to disposal at shore reception facilities.

Table 1 — Summary of at sea garbage disposal regulations Garbage type **All ships except platforms ***Offshore platforms Outside special areas **In special areas APPENDIX B Plastics - includes synthetic ropes and fishing nets and plastic garbage bags Disposal prohibited Disposal prohibited Disposal prohibited Floating dunnage, lining and packing materials >25 miles offshore Disposal prohibited Disposal prohibited Paper, rags, glass, metal, bottles, crockery and similar refuse > 12 miles Disposal prohibited Disposal prohibited All other garbage including paper, rags, glass, etc. comminuted or ground 3 miles Disposal prohibited Disposal prohibited *Food waste not comminuted or ground 12 miles > 12 miles Disposal prohibited *Food waste comminuted or ground 3 miles > 12 miles 12 miles Mixed refuse types **** **** **** * Comminuted or ground garbage must be able to pass through a screen with mesh size no larger than 25 mm. ** Garbage disposal regulations for special areas shall take effect in accordance with regulation 5(4)(b) of Annex V. *** Offshore platforms and associated ships include all fixed or floating platforms engaged in exploration or exploitation of sea-bed mineral resources, and all ships alongside or within 500 m of such platforms, **** When garbage is mixed with other harmful substances having different disposal or discharge requirements, the more stringent disposal requirements shall apply. Note: The Baltic Sea Special Area Disposal Regulations took effect on 1 October 1989. 277

APPENDIX B 278 4.1.1 Compliance with these limitations requires personnel, equipment and procedures for collecting, sorting, processing, storing and disposing of garbage. Economic and procedural considerations associated with these activities include storage space requirements, sanitation, equipment and personnel costs and in- port garbage service charges. 4.1.2 Compliance with the provisions of Annex V will require careful planning by the ship operator and proper execution by crew members as well as other seafarers. The most appropriate procedures for handling and storing garbage on ship will vary depending on factors such as the type and size of the ship, the area of operation (e.g. distance from nearest land), shipboard garbage processing equipment and storage space, crew size, duration of voyage, and regulations and reception facilities at ports of call. However, in view of the cost involved with the different ultimate disposal techniques, it may also be economically advantageous to keep garbage requiring special handling separate from other garbage. Proper handling and storage will minimize shipboard storage space requirements and enable efficient transfer of retained garbage to port reception facilities. 4.2 To ensure that the most effective and efficient handling and storage procedures are followed, it is recommended that vessel operators develop waste management plans that can be incorporated into crew and vessel operating manuals. Such manuals should identify crew responsibilities (including an environmental control officer) and procedures for all aspects of handling and storing garbage aboard the ship. Procedures for handling ship-generated garbage can be divided into four phases: collection, processing, storage, and disposal. A generalized waste management plan for handling and storing ship- generated garbage is presented in table 2. Specific procedures for each phase are discussed below. 4.3 Collection Procedures for collecting garbage generated aboard ship should be based on consideration of what can and cannot be discarded overboard while en route. To reduce or avoid the need for sorting after collection, it is recommended that three categories of distinctively marked garbage receptacles be provided to receive garbage as it is generated. These separate receptacles (e.g. cans, bags, or bins) would receive (1) plastics and plastics mixed with non-plastic garbage; (2) food wastes (which includes materials contaminated by such wastes); and (3) other garbage which can be disposed of at sea. Receptacles for each of the three categories of garbage should be clearly marked and distinguishable by colour, graphics, shape, size, or location. These receptacles should be provided in appropriate spaces throughout the ship (e.g. the engine-room, mess deck, wardroom, galley, and other living or working spaces) and all crew members and passengers should be advised of what garbage should and should not be discarded in them. Crew responsibilities should be assigned for collecting or emptying these receptacles and taking the garbage to the appropriate processing or storage location. Use of such a system will facilitate subsequent shipboard processing and minimize the amount of garbage which must be stored aboard ship for return to port.

APPENDIX B 279 Table 2 — Options for shipboard handling and disposal of garbage

APPENDIX B 280 4.3.1 Plastics and plastics mixed with non-plastic garbage Plastic garbage must be retained aboard ship for discharge at port reception facilities unless reduced to ash by incineration. When plastic garbage is not separated from other garbage, the mixture must be treated as if it were all plastic. 4.3.2 Food wastes Some governments have regulations for controlling human, plant, and animal diseases that may be carried by foreign food wastes and materials that have been associated with them (e.g. food packaging and disposable eating utensils). These regulations may require incinerating, sterilizing, or other special treatment of garbage to destroy possible pest and disease organisms. Such garbage should be kept separate from other garbage and preferably retained for disposal in port in accordance with the laws of the receiving country. With regard to such garbage, governments are reminded of their obligation to assure the provision of adequate reception facilities. Precautions must be taken to ensure that plastics contaminated by food wastes (e.g. plastic food wrappers) are not discharged at sea with other food wastes. 4.3.3 Other garbage Garbage in this category includes, but is not limited to, paper products, rags, glass, metal, bottles, crockery, dunnage, lining and packing materials. Vessels may find it desirable to separate dunnage, lining and packing material which will float since this material is subject to a different discharge limit than other garbage in this category (see table 1). Such garbage should be kept separate from other garbage and preferably retained for disposal in port. 4.3.4 Additional receptacles which might be useful 4.3.4.1 Separate cans or bags could be provided for receiving and storing glass, metal, plastics, paper or other items which can be recycled. To encourage crew members to deposit such items in receptacles provided, proceeds generated from their return might be added to a ship's recreational fund. 4.3.4.2 Synthetic fishing net and line scraps generated by the repair or operation of fishing gear may not be discarded at sea and should be collected in a manner that avoids its loss overboard. Such material may be incinerated, compacted, or stored along with other plastic waste or it may be preferable to keep it separate from other types of garbage if it has strong odour or great volume. 4.3.5 Recovery of garbage at sea 4.3.5.1 Fishermen and other seafarers who recover derelict fishing gear and other persistent garbage during routine operations are encouraged to retain this material for disposal on shore. If lost pots or traps are recovered and space is not available for storage, fishermen and other seafarers are encouraged to remove and transport any line and webbing to port for disposal and return the bare frames to the water, or minimally, to cut open the traps to keep them from continuing to trap marine life.

APPENDIX B 281 4.3.5.2 Seafarers are further encouraged to recover other persistent garbage from the sea as opportunities arise and prudent practice permits. 4.3.6 Oily rags and contaminated rags must be kept on board and discharged to a port reception facility or incinerated. 4.4 Processing Depending on factors such as the type of ship, area of operation, size of crew, etc., ships may be equipped with incinerators, compactors, comminuters, or other devices for shipboard garbage processing (see section 5). Appropriate members of the crew should be assigned responsibility for operating this equipment on a schedule commensurate with ship needs. In selecting appropriate processing procedures, the following should be considered. 4.4.1 Use of compactors, incinerators, comminuters, and other such devices has a number of advantages, such as making it possible to discharge certain garbage at sea which otherwise might not be permitted, reducing shipboard space requirements for storing garbage, making it easier to off-load garbage in port, and enhancing assimilation of garbage discharged into the marine environment. 4.4.2 It should be noted that special rules on incineration may be established by authorities in some ports and may exist in some special areas. Incineration of the following items requires special precaution due to the potential environmental and health effects from combustion of by-products: hazardous materials (e.g. scraped paint, impregnated wood) and certain types of plastics (e.g. PVC-based plastics). The problems of combustion of by-products are discussed in 5.4.6. 4.4.3 Ships operating primarily in special areas or within 3 nautical miles from the nearest land should choose between storage of either compacted or uncompacted material for off-loading at port reception facilities or incineration with retention of ash and clinkers. This is the most restrictive situation in that no discharge is permitted. The type of ship and the expected volume and type of garbage generated will determine the suitability of compaction, incineration, or storage options. 4.4.4 Compactors make garbage easier to store, to transfer to port reception facilities, and to dispose of at sea when discharge limitations permit. In the latter case, compacted garbage may also aid in sinking, which would reduce aesthetic impacts in coastal waters and along beaches, and perhaps reduce the likelihood of marine life ingesting or otherwise interacting with discharged materials. 4.4.5 Ships operating primarily beyond 3 nautical miles from the nearest land are encouraged to install and use comminuters to grind food wastes to a particle size capable of passing through a screen with openings no larger than 25 mm. Although larger food scraps may be discharged beyond 12 nautical miles, it is recommended that comminuters be used even outside this limit because they hasten assimilation into the marine environment. Because food wastes comminuted with plastics cannot be discharged at sea, all plastic materials must be removed before food wastes are ground up.

APPENDIX B 282 4.5 Storage Garbage collected from living and working areas throughout the ship should be delivered to designated processing or storage locations. Garbage that must be returned to port for disposal may require long-term storage depending on the length of the voyage or arrangements for off-loading (e.g. transferring garbage to an offshore vessel for incineration or subsequent transfer ashore). Garbage which may be discarded overboard may require short-term or no storage. In all cases, garbage should be stored in a manner which avoids health and safety hazards. The following points should be Considered when selecting procedures for storing garbage: 4.5.1 Ships should use separate cans, drums, boxes, bags or other containers for short-term (disposable garbage) and trip-long (non-disposable garbage) storage. Short-term storage would be appropriate for holding otherwise disposable garbage while a ship is passing through a restricted discharge area. 4.5.2 Sufficient storage space and equipment (e.g. cans, drums, bags or other containers) should be provided. Where space is limited, vessel operators are encouraged to install compactors or incinerators· To the extent possible, all processed and unprocessed garbage which must be stored for any length of time should be in tight, securely covered containers. 4.5.3 Food wastes and associated garbage which are returned to port and which may carry diseases or pests should be stored in tightly covered containers and be kept separate from garbage which does not contain such food wastes. Both types of garbage should be stored in separate clearly marked containers to avoid incorrect disposal and treatment on land. 4.5.4 Storage of waste fishing gear on deck may be appropriate if materials have strong odours or if their size is too great to permit storage elsewhere on the ship. In cases where gear is fouled with marine growth or dead organisms, it may be reasonable to tow gear behind the vessel for a time to wash it out before storing. If it cannot be recovered by the vessel, the appropriate coastal State should be notified of its location. 4.5.5 Disinfection and both preventative and remedial pest control methods should be applied regularly in garbage storage areas. 4.6 Disposal Although disposal is possible under Annex V, discharge of garbage to port reception facilities should be given first priority. Disposal of ship-generated garbage must be done in a manner consistent with the regulations summarized in table 1. When disposing of garbage, the following points should be considered: 4.6.1 Garbage which may be disposed of at sea can simply be discharged overboard. Disposal of uncompacted garbage is convenient, but results in a maximum number of floating objects which may reach shore even when discharged beyond 25 nautical miles from the nearest land. Compacted garbage

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Marine debris is a serious environmental problem. To do its part, the United States has agreed to abide by the international treaty for garbage control at sea, known as MARPOL 73/78 Annex V.

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans explores the challenge of translating Annex V into workable laws and regulations for all kinds of ships and boats, from cruise ships to fishing crafts and recreational boats. The volume examines how existing resources can be leveraged into a comprehensive strategy for compliance, including integrated waste management systems and effective enforcement.

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans describes both progress toward and obstacles to Annex V compliance. The book covers:

  • How shipborne garbage orignates and what happens to garbage discharged into the seas.
  • Effects of discharge on human health, wildlife safety, and aesthetics.
  • Differences in perspective among military, industrial, and recreational seafarers and shoreside facilities.

Clean Ships, Clean Ports, Clean Oceans will be important to marine policymakers, port administrators, ship operations officers, maritime engineers, and marine ecologists.

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