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Old 25-06-2016, 12:55   #1
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Trash Disposal

I did a quick search, but found nothing actually on point. Almost all of us have become environmentally conscious and conscientious, to varying degrees over the years. One thing that bothers me, aside from the amount of plastic waste, is the disposal of routine trash on long trips and at remote anchorages. At one time I used burlap bags. They were clean and very cheap, or even sometimes free, if acquired used. When filled with trash and weighted with a rock or two (gathered for zero cost before sailing) the were readily disposable in the deep. Often garbage was simply tossed in the deep ocean to feed the marine life. This was done more selectively in some locations. The question is, since these "techniques" are dated (a kind way of saying frowned upon), what is considered currently proper, and what is done about plastic aside from saving it in doubled and thick plastic bags at a landfall with trash disposal?

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Old 25-06-2016, 13:00   #2
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Re: Trash Disposal

What kind of plastic things are you going through a lot of during a passage? The only thing I can think of would be water bottles. I try to get all of my provisioning out of the original containers and into specific made containers on the boat. Try to throw away all plastic before leaving the dock. Anything else, bag it and stow I guess. Or do what the Navy does: dump it all!
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Old 25-06-2016, 13:25   #3
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Re: Trash Disposal

No plastic in the ocean, period. It does horrible things to turtles. If you follow the advice above about unpacking stuff on shore before you leave, you can carry several month's worth of flattened cans and plastic bottles on board until you get to a recycling point. Remember - the flattened containers take up much less space than they did when they were full. Garbage in the ocean - yeah, it's fish food.
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Old 25-06-2016, 13:34   #4
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Re: Trash Disposal

When I was in the navy we tossed garbage off the back of the boat. Does the Navy still do this? Cant imagine storing garbage on board a large ship for weeks till they hit port. And that doesn't garuntee they would be able to use disposal services either.
So I can't imagine they aren't dumping at sea.
Another point.
How many localities dump their garbage at sea?
New York still uses that way of disposing of trash doesn't it?
Point being, even though you think of yourself as "environmentally conscience", the place you may be disposing of your garbage at may not be.
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Old 25-06-2016, 13:35   #5
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Re: Trash Disposal

Food waste (table scraps a dog might eat)... the fish will eat it.

Everything else... store in sealed container for disposal at port.

If you know someone with a cat... they might have empty cat litter buckets which have a decent lid. They seal up pretty well.
Great general purpose buckets and trash containers.
https://www.amazon.com/Tidy-Cats-Clu.../dp/B007TTJMYA

Store dry goods in buckets, protected from incidental moisture exposure... and as you empty one it becomes a trash container.
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Old 25-06-2016, 13:36   #6
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Re: Trash Disposal

I doubt very much any navy dumps all its trash at sea these days......

I use empty 2 or 2.5 litre plastic juice bottles... sometimes 5 litre water containers.. hygienic and odour free.

Everything biodegradable together with glass bottles ( ballasted to sink ) and tin cans ( holed at both ends) is dumped well offshore.

That still leaves a lot of plastic -- lined UHT milk containers, soup, pasta and noodle packs, biscuit wrappers, cereal box liners, the plastic the vacuum packed meat comes in......
Its good therapy for the crew cutting up the milk containers so they fit through the top of the juice bottle.

Last trip I had no trouble stowing over 40 days worth of trash on board.

Edited to add.... we have a dedicated 'poking stick' that we use as a compactor... amazing what you can get into one juice bottle if you really apply yourself..
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Old 25-06-2016, 13:42   #7
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Re: Trash Disposal

Quote:
Originally Posted by landlockedsquid View Post
When I was in the navy we tossed garbage off the back of the boat. Does the Navy still do this? Cant imagine storing garbage on board a large ship for weeks till they hit port. And that doesn't garuntee they would be able to use disposal services either.
So I can't imagine they aren't dumping at sea.
Another point.
How many localities dump their garbage at sea?
New York still uses that way of disposing of trash doesn't it?
Point being, even though you think of yourself as "environmentally conscience", the place you may be disposing of your garbage at may not be.

Navy was getting more enviro-conscious when I was in.

Most plastics were melted into blocks which were stored for shore disposal.
Metal scrap and food refuse was going in degradable bags and overboard.

Paper and wood went in an incinerator.

Part of the idea here is they don't want a floating trail of garbage for someone to follow and find the ships. (they've always tried to sink the garbage)

I imagine they are working to reduce the waste products that go overboard even more now.

But when we pulled in one of the first things was to park a garbage barge beside the ship and fill it.
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Old 25-06-2016, 14:17   #8
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Re: Trash Disposal

In the past I felt OK about aluminum and 'tin' cans over. Found out metal food storage is now plastic lined. Now only paper and garbage over. All the rest in the dingy as it hangs on the davits. I will start using re-sealable buckets instead of plastic trash bags. Great idea!
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Old 25-06-2016, 14:25   #9
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Re: Trash Disposal

What harm is plastic sunk to the deeps expected to cause?

I'm aware of the damage that floating plastic can cause, but I'm having a hard time picturing what damage might be caused by plastic in the deeps.
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Old 25-06-2016, 14:39   #10
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Re: Trash Disposal

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Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
What harm is plastic sunk to the deeps expected to cause?

I'm aware of the damage that floating plastic can cause, but I'm having a hard time picturing what damage might be caused by plastic in the deeps.

Most plastic doesn't sink.....besides that just because it's out of sight doesn't mean it won't somehow become a problem.


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Old 25-06-2016, 18:18   #11
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Re: Trash Disposal

Quote:
To quote El Pinguino, one still generates a lot of plastic -- lined UHT milk containers, soup, pasta and noodle packs, biscuit wrappers, cereal box liners, the plastic the vacuum packed meat comes in......
Its good therapy for the crew cutting up the milk containers so they fit through the top of the juice bottle.

Last trip I had no trouble stowing over 40 days worth of trash on board.
Think of that, guys! El Ping and 3 crew, 40 days worth!

Fwiw, I've been using the one liter yoghurt containers with snap on lids, in place of the juice jugs, with excellent results. The plastic just continues to compact within the container. Also, I rinse the gucky stuff in sea water first, because I like to lessen the odor of the contents. I have wooden spoons for stirring various items, and their handles make good pokers when I am using some kind of bottle for the storage of plastics. It's a bit of a drag, and imho, it helps to have strong kitchen shears for cutting multiple layers.

Also, if you have an unplanned oil spill, [don't ask], the oily rags, or paper towels, can similarly be compacted and sealed. We store the stuff in the lazarette.

It really depends where you are and what local practices are. For example, some places we've been, the locals had so little material goods, they wanted bottles (often for honey). Some places, one is advised to burn garbage below the high tide line. However, for storage at sea, the El Pinguino method is free, almost totally odor free, and good utilisation of space.

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Old 25-06-2016, 23:41   #12
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Re: Trash Disposal

If you try to stick with aluminium on cans they can be compacted with simple little crushers and sold (or in some places donated)


Steel I keep and use for mixing epoxies and paint.


Glass bottles are a pain however the screw top glass stubby containers are sometimes valued by home brewers.


I used to use jars for preserving a lot but tend to use Mason jars these days because the lids are easy to find but if I had a ready supply of new lids for the supermarket jars would have stayed with them purely for the recycling value.


I find that if you wash out cans and bottles before trashing them they tend not to stink the rubbish up.


Offshore oil rigs either have burn baskets which they hang out the side and burn the rubbish or hydraulic crushers which compact a lot of rubbish into bagged cubes to be sent ashore for disposal.


One is probably doing the seas a favour by disposing of perishable foodstuff rubbish into the sea. So many rivers are now dammed that the littoral seas are probably starving because they don't get the out-flushes of carbonaceous detritus they once did during flood events.


Enlighten an ignorant old roughneck, what is the El Pinguino method?
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Old 26-06-2016, 08:15   #13
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Re: Trash Disposal

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Enlighten an ignorant old roughneck, what is the El Pinguino method?
Well, I find we don't have much in the way of glass garbage offshore as about the only glass involves sauces and jams both of which can be refilled from sachets(?).
Cans, typically two a day , one fruit, one of peas or toms or some such.

I simply hole the bottom and over they go. In deep water I don't think they breakdown the way they do in the shallows ... look at the Titanic frinstance... so they just sink into the ooze.
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Old 26-06-2016, 16:22   #14
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Re: Trash Disposal

RaymondR,

The El Ping method is described above in post #6.

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Old 26-06-2016, 17:11   #15
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Re: Trash Disposal

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Everything else... store in sealed container for disposal at port.
Which leads me to the realities in many places we all want to cruise.

Example 1:
So when the 150 boats hit Turtle Bay, Mexico on the famed Baja Ha-ha cruisers rally they find that for $1 a bag the local Mexican kids in Pangas and Kayaks would take the cruisers trash for "disposal". For many cruisers this was their first venture out of the 4 color coded trash can world of the USA and many were in horror when they found out what the locals were doing with the trash bags they were paying them to properly dispose of...aka...dumping them on the ground behind the beach sand dunes.

Example 2:
Being a new upscale marina the Santa Rosilita, Mexico marina had it all. Spa, air conditioned cruiser lounge with Wifi and the 2-color coded trash cans...Blue for recyclables, Brown for general trash. So the cruisers happily sorted their trash into the correct bin. Imagine the horror when a cruiser drove about 1 mile out of town to get his propane tank filled and saw what in the Old Testament days was known as Gehenna, the continuous burning and fire of the hades trash pit. There the Blue recyclables were mixed with the brown trash and burned sending a toxic plume of dioxins and styrens into the pristine Sea of Cortez sky. The bushes and shrubs surrounding the burn ditch were covered with plastic bag flowers, blown out of the burn pit by the wind.

The 3rd and Final Example:
The conscientious cruiser's holding tank was full so he called the Marina for his $200 peso pump out. The pump out went well and the cruisers marveled at just how new and barely used the portable pump out cart looked, but they just figured it was being taken care of, so they tipped the guys that did the dirty job and all was well. Until...you just knew this was coming...until they watched in horror as the pump out cart was hauled over to the marina break water and pumped out on the other side into the sea.

Now don't take this the wrong way that I'm in some way promoting polluting...NO. What I'm doing is bringing some reality to how many places operate in area we cruisers have on our list as desirable places to go. Don't lie to yourself and live in ignorance of where your trash and sewage waste is going after you smile and think you are a better person because you separated your banana peal and pop-tart cardboard box or paid for that pump out service.

So key to minimizing your pollution footprint while cruising is to buy products with minimal packaging, recycle what you can and do your best to raise awareness. But lecturing people who discard an empty beer bottle broken overboard as if they are raping mother earth by not bringing it to shore where it can be tossed in a ditch...well....it may give you a nice ride on the moral high horse, but horses tend to buck and toss people to the ground every now and then, so watch out.
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