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HELMEPA 2011 TRAINING PROGRAM

Onboard Garbage Management

1. Origin of garbage and environmental impacts

According to the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), 80% of solid


waste which ends up in the coastal and marine environment originates on land and is
transferred to the sea by rainwater, rivers, drains, sewers, winds and industrial waste.
The main causes are the inefficient management systems of solid waste on land but
also the irresponsible discharge of garbage by beach-goers and other users of
beaches and the broader coastal zone. The remaining 20% of marine litter originates
from human activities on site or, to be more specific, from trade and passenger
vessels of all kinds, commercial or amateur fishing boats, recreational boats and
offshore platforms for oil and natural gas extraction. The impact of solid waste on
coastal communities and the environment has multiple facets. Marine litter
devastates the natural setting and may seriously disturb marine ecosystem function.
Pollutants from solid waste are diluted in rain, fresh and/or sea water and therefore
enter the food chain.

More specifically:

Solid waste at sea represents a major threat to wildlife. Marine mammals, sea
turtles and sea birds are injured or even die after becoming trapped in waste
materials or after consuming them as food.

Globally, it is estimated that more than 1 million sea birds and 100,000 marine
mammals and sea turtles die each year due to litter in seas and along coasts.

A great part of marine litter is washed ashore, becoming a source of major


aesthetic nuisance. This may lead to drastic reduction in tourist activities, with
serious implications for local economies not only because of losses of income but
also because of the considerable costs incurred of cleanup operations.

Nets and other fishing gear ending up in the sea, either accidentally or
deliberately constitute more than just a considerable economic loss for the fishing
industry. Ghost fishing, meaning the entrapment of marine life in destroyed
fishing nets or other fishing gear discarded in the sea, accounts for the
unnecessary death of thousands of fish and other marine animals.

2. The Annex V of MARPOL

2.1 Introduction

MARPOL Annex V entered into force on 31st December 1988 and included
regulations for the prevention of marine pollution by garbage from ships.

In July 2011, IMO revised Annex V and the new regulations will enter into force on
1st January 2013. The new requirements are particularly stringent as every discharge
of garbage into the sea will be prohibited (with the exception of food wastes and
cargo residues which are not harmful to the marine environment).

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HELMEPA 2011 TRAINING PROGRAM

A Garbage Management Plan is the essential requirement to provide written


procedures for collecting, storing, processing and disposing of garbage, including the
use of equipment on board and to also designate the person in charge for its
implementation onboard the vessel.

Every ship is provided with a Garbage Record Book, in which entries must be made
by the officer in charge of every discharge operation, completed incineration, escape
or accidental loss who signs them on the date of their occurrence, whilst each
completed page of the Book properly signed by the Master of the ship.

Specifically, Regulation 9 (2) of Annex V of MARPOL 73/78 provides that:


Every ship of 400 gross tons and above, and every ship which is certified to carry 15
persons or more, shall carry a Garbage Management Plan which the crew shall follow.
The plan shall provide written procedures for collecting, storing, processing and disposing
of garbage, including the use of the equipment on board. It also shall designate the
person in charge of carrying out the plan. Such a plan shall be in accordance with the
guidelines developed by the organization and written in the working language of the crew.
All vessels must permanently post a summary declaration (placard) stating the prohibition
and restrictions for discharging garbage and the penalties for failure to comply. The
placard should be at least 12.5 cm by 20 cm, made of durable material and fixed in a
conspicuous place in the galley, the mess deck, wardroom, bridge, main deck, engine
room, and other areas of the ship where appropriate. The placard should be printed in the
language or languages understood by the crew and passengers.
In addition to the regulation above, each garbage discharge operation or completed
incineration, shall be recorded in the Garbage Record Book and signed for on the date of
the incineration or discharge by the officer in charge. Each completed page of the
Garbage Record Book shall be signed by the Master of the vessel. Entries in Garbage
Record Book shall be made in the official language of the Flag State as well as in English
or in French language.
The competent Authority of the Government of a Party to the Convention may inspect the
Garbage Record Book on board any ship to which this regulation applies while the ship is
in its ports or offshore terminals and may make a copy of any entry in that book, and may
require the Master of the vessel to certify that the copy is a true copy of such an entry.
Any copy so made, which has been certified by the Master of the vessel as a true copy of an
entry in the ship's Garbage Record Book, shall be admissible in any judicial proceedings
as evidence of the facts stated in the entry.

2.2 Minimization of garbage

Systematic efforts should be made by the crew of the vessel to minimize the
quantities of the potential waste and the onboard generation of waste, by adopting
suitable practices, such as the following:

The amount of garbage in the living spaces on board can be reduced if ships
encourage their suppliers to consider their products in terms of the garbage they
generate and if the following options are taken into account:

Use of provisions packaged in or made of materials other than disposable plastic.


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HELMEPA 2011 TRAINING PROGRAM

Use of reusable packaging and containers. Disposable utensils, cups, etc. and
other convenience items should be limited and replaced by washable items when
possible.

Preference for consumable items with adequate shelf life, once their packaging is
open.

The amount of generated cargo associated and maintenance waste onboard can be
reduced by:

Replacing disposable plastic sheeting used for cargo protection with reusable
material.

Using methods that reuse coverings, dunnage, shoring, lining and packing
materials.

Disposing of wastes generated in port, during cargo loading and unloading and
unwanted packing materials to the port Reception Facilities.

Cargo residues are created through inefficiencies in loading, unloading and onboard
handling and therefore can be reduced by:

Unloading the cargo as efficiently as possible.

Cleaning up cargo spaces onboard, and delivery of the cargo residues into the
intended cargo space.

Disposing of cargo residues to Port Reception Facilities.

The waste management hierarchy is a widespread element of management policy


and is often considered the most fundamental basis of the environmentally sound
waste management. It ranks waste handling operations onboard a vessel according to
their environmental benefits, as follows:

1. Prevent the production of waste or reduce the amount generated.

2. Reduce the toxicity or negative impacts of the waste that is generated.

3. Reuse in their current forms the material recovered from the waste stream.

4. Recycle materials for use as direct or indirect inputs to new products.

5. Recover energy by incineration or other processes.

6. Reduce the volume of waste prior to disposal through treatment onboard.

7. Dispose of waste in an environmentally sound manner.

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HELMEPA 2011 TRAINING PROGRAM

2.3 Types of garbage

Generally ship-generated garbage might be classified as follows:

- Domestic waste

- Food waste

- Maintenance wastes

- Plastics

- Oily rags

- Cargo-associated waste

- Cargo residues

- Operational wastes

2.4 Garbage management procedures

Procedures for collecting garbage generated onboard the vessel are based on
consideration of what can and cannot be discarded overboard while en route. The
vessel must be fitted with receptacles (e.g. cans, bins, etc.) made of metallic, non-
combustible rust protected material, provided in appropriate spaces throughout the
vessel. To reduce or avoid the need for sorting after collection, distinctively marked
garbage receptacles must be provided.

Garbage collected from various areas throughout the ship should be delivered to
designated processing or storage locations. The most appropriate procedure for handling
and storing garbage on ship will vary depending on factors such as the type and size, the
area of operation, shipboard garbage processing equipment and storage, under hygienic
conditions, space, crew size, duration of the voyage, and regulations. Garbage that must be
returned to shore for disposal may require long-term storage depending on the length of
the voyage or availability of Shore Reception Facilities. Garbage which may be
discarded overboard may require short-term storage or no storage. In all cases, garbage
should be stored in a manner which avoids health and safety hazards.

Compactors make garbage easier to store, to transfer to Shore Reception Facilities


and to dispose of at sea when discharge limitations permit. Compacted garbage may
also aid in sinking, which would reduce aesthetic impacts, the likelihood of marine
life ingesting or otherwise interacting with discharged materials. Pressurized
combustible cans should not be compacted since they present an explosion hazard.

For ships operating primarily beyond three nautical miles from the nearest land
certified comminuters should be grind food wastes. Although larger good scraps may
be discharged beyond 12 nautical miles, it is recommended that comminuters shall
be used even outside this limit as they hasten assimilation into the marine
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HELMEPA 2011 TRAINING PROGRAM

environment. Food wastes comminuted with plastics cannot be discharged at sea. All
plastic materials must be removed before food wastes are ground up.

Marine incinerators are predominantly designed for intermittent and manual


operation. Flue gas outlet temperature is to be monitored together with fed/start up
controls. The ash or vapor may be hazardous. Onboard incineration outside an
incinerator is prohibited except that sewage sludge from oil separators may be
incinerated in auxiliary power plants and boiler when the vessel is not in any port,
harbour or alongside to any terminal.

The incineration of predominantly plastic wastes requires more air and much higher
temperatures for complete destruction. Depending on the type of plastic and
conditions of combustion, some toxic gases can be generated in the exhaust stream,
including vaporized hydrochloric (HCl) and hydrocyanic (HCN) acids. If plastics are
to be burned in a safe manner, the incinerator should be suitable for that purpose
otherwise the incineration of plastics onboard is totally prohibited.

2.5 Disposal of garbage to port Reception Facilities

Disposal of ship-generated garbage from the vessel must be done in a manner


consistent with the regulations contained in Annex V of MARPOL 73/78. Although
discharge at sea outside Special Areas of a wide range of garbage is permitted under
certain conditions, it is recommended that the vessel systematically make use of the
available Port Reception Facilities.

Disposal needs must be identified in order to make arrangements for garbage


requiring special handling. Ship agents are to be advised for guidance to ensure
timely transfer of ship-generated garbage to port facilities. Special disposal needs
might include off-loading food wastes and associated garbage which may carry
certain diseases or pest organisms or unusually large, heavy or odorous waste.

To facilitate the waste disposal procedures, a notice of intended disposal in port is


recommended. The Master, the Company or the vessels agent should notify the
intended disposal to the competent authority at least 24 hours prior to arrival in port.

The notice should contain:

.1 name, call sign and gross tonnage of the ship;


.2 estimated time of arrival, berth (if known);
.3 type, quantity of the substance to be disposed of;
.4 pump rate of the ships discharge equipment;
.5 preferred reception facility operator; and
.6 shipboard disposal problems.

For the disposal procedures the information leaflets provided by or websites


maintained by the port authority should be consulted. Upon delivery of garbage to
Port Reception Facilities, a receipt or certificate is issued specifying the estimated
amount of garbage transferred. The receipts or certificates must be kept onboard the
ship with the Garbage Record Book.

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HELMEPA 2011 TRAINING PROGRAM

IMO has adopted a Format for reporting alleged inadequacies of Shore Reception
Facilities to enable the appropriate authority and IMO to deal with the alleged
difficulty.

The Master should forward the format, together with the supporting documentation,
to the appropriate authority of the Flag State, who in turn, should submit the report to
the IMO. The port authority should be informed of the report and asked for
comments (prior to the vessels departure, if possible).