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Options for Shipboard Handling and Discharge of Garbage

Options for Shipboard Handling and Discharge of Garbage

Compliance with MARPOL Annex V involves personnel, equipment and procedures for collecting, sorting, processing, storing, recycling, reusing and discharging garbage. Economic and procedural considerations associated with these activities include storage space requirements, sanitation, equipment and personnel costs and in port garbage service charges.

Compliance with the provisions of MARPOL Annex V involves careful planning by the ship’s owner and operator and proper execution by crew members as well as other seafarers. The most appropriate procedures for handling and storing garbage on board ships may vary depending on factors such as the type and size of the ship, the area of operation (e.g. special area, distance from nearest land, ice-shelf or fast ice), shipboard garbage processing equipment and storage space, number of crew or passengers, duration of voyage, and regulations and reception facilities at ports of call. However, in view of the cost involved with the different garbage handling options, it is economically advantageous to first, limit the amount of material that may become garbage from being brought on board the ship and second, separate garbage eligible for discharge into the sea from other garbage that may not be discharged into the sea. Proper management of containers and packaging coming on board and proper handling and storage can minimize shipboard storage space requirements and enable efficient transfer of retained garbage to port reception facilities for proper handling (i.e. recycling, reuse) or land-based disposal.

Every ship of 100 gross tonnage and above every ship certified to carry 15 or more persons and fixed and floating platforms are required to carry and implement a garbage management plan that specifies procedures to be followed to ensure proper and efficient handling and storage of garbage. A garbage management plan 2 should be developed that can be incorporated in crew and ship operating manuals. Such manuals should identify crew responsibilities (including an Environmental Control Officer) and procedures for all aspects of handling and storing garbage on board the ship. Procedures for handling ship-generated garbage are divided into four phases: collection, processing, storage and discharge. A generalized garbage management plan for handling and storing ship-generated garbage is presented in table above.

Refer MEPC 71/17 Annex 21 – 2017 GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MARPOL ANNEX V for more details.