Waste & Garbage Handling: Bilges/ Sludge/ Slops/ Garbage Disposal

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Waste & Garbage Handling: Bilges/ Sludge/ Slops/ Garbage Disposal

By Amit Sharma, Senior Compliance Auditor, Environmental Compliance Department

02.2 Waste & Garbage Handling Thome Ship Management

In the process of fulfilling its intended purpose of transporting goods/commodities from one port to another, ships produce by-products which constitute different types of waste. Their handling and disposal is regulated by the six different Annexes of MARPOL 73/78.

In this article, we will touch upon wastes covered under Annex 1 and Annex V

Annex I: Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Oil (entered into force 2 October 1983)

This covers the prevention of pollution by oil from operating machinery as well as from accidental discharges.

Annex 1 wastes are mainly generated from cargo spaces on board tankers and machinery spaces in all types of ships. Important records required to be maintained for Annex 1 are the Oil Record Books parts 1 and 2.

Engine rooms generate bilge water must be processed through the oily water separator or landed ashore. Oily sludge generated in the engine room must be either incinerated in the ships approved incinerator/boiler or discharged ashore.

Annex V: Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships (entered into force 31 December 1988)

This deals with different types of garbage and specifies the distances from land where disposal of certain wastes can take place and the way in which it may be disposed of. The most important feature of the Annex is the complete ban imposed on plastic disposal into the sea.

Garbage is defined as all kinds of food wastes, domestic wastes and operational wastes, all plastics, cargo residues, incinerator ashes, cooking oil, fishing gear and animal carcasses generated during the normal operation of the ship and liable to be disposed of continuously or periodically, except those substances which are defined or listed in other Annexes of MARPOL 73/78.

The important records required to be maintained for Annex V are the Garbage Record Books Parts 1 and 2.

The discharge of all garbage into the sea is prohibited, except as provided otherwise in regulations 4, 5, 6 and 7 of this Annex and section 5.2 of part II-A of the Polar Code, as defined in regulation 13.1 of this Annex.

The company SMS (TGP 1.3) provides detailed guidelines for waste management. The guiding principal being the 4Rs.

Reduce: use only what you need, Reuse: re-use the things for the same or a new purpose. Recycle: convert waste into useful products. Recover: recover heat energy from waste.