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Suggested Citation:"Compactors." 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 147

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INTEGRATING VESSEL AND SHORESIDE GARBAGE MANAGEMENT 147 Treatment/Destruction If there is room to install appropriate equipment and organize on-board storage, a range of technologies for treating or destroying garbage is available and in use on vessels. The amount of garbage generated, as well as Annex V operating restrictions, may dictate which methods and technologies are employed. Many types of commercial equipment can be purchased for shipboard use, although little testing and evaluation has been carried out to determine whether the size and ruggedness meet shipboard needs. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Guidelines for Implementation of Annex V encourage the further development of shipboard technologies, acknowledging that the present state of the art is wanting. Vessel operators in some sectors, such as the passenger cruise industry, work with equipment vendors and engineers to meet individual needs, but the potential markets for many of the needed technologies, such as those for commercial fisheries, are too small to attract commercial developers. The cruise ship industry has invested heavily in state-of-the-art equipment, including shredders, pulpers, compactors, and incinerators. These technologies have been retro fitted on existing ships and incorporated into the design and construction of new ships. In addition, the industry works closely with naval architects, shipyards, and equipment suppliers to improve the technology. The Navy is the only federal agency that has been able to develop, test, and evaluate shipboard garbage handling technologies. The results have not been widely applicable to either the civil maritime sector or other public vessels, so there remains a need for product and systems development to support Annex V implementation. The maximum benefits could be derived from garbage treatment technologies, both existing and new, if information about them were exchanged promptly among the various maritime sectors. Compactors A compactor is a powered device used to reduce the volume of garbage, to facilitate storage during a voyage. Many such units are available commercially and most are sized to fit the needs of vessels; the committee observed successful shipboard use of compactors purchased at retail outlets. The Navy began developing compactors in 1979 but cancelled this research in 1993, deciding it was no longer necessary (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1994a, 1994b). Compactors are the backbone of the Coast Guard's Annex V compliance plans. High-volume, low-density materials, such as plastic bottles, containers, and sheeting can be compacted easily to as little as 10 percent of their former volume. Other recyclable materials, such as metal cans and even paper products, can be reduced to 25 percent of their original volume. Volume reduction of glass (e.g.,

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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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