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Old 20-09-2008, 18:20   #1
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What Do Cruisers Do with the Trash?

This is probably a really dumb question but since I am a newbie, I get to ask really dumb questions eh... So what do you do with all the paper, plastic and other trash when you are off shore on a month long crossing or around some prestine Islands for perhaps more than a month ??? Throw it in the dingy and tow behind ?

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Old 20-09-2008, 19:28   #2
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Prior to heading out for a while I'll get rid of lots of the trash ahead of time.

The packaging boxes are the first to go. You know, cereal box, rice, all the exterior cardboard you don't need to haul around.

I buy drink mix in small plastic containers that I can reuse. I don't haul cases of beer cans or soda cans. Rum bottles are much more efficient.

Reusable storage containers hold lots of dry goods and the useless packaging is tossed prior to leaving the dock.

If you take a little time, you will find all sorts of outer packages that can be tossed that you are hauling around. Toothpaste boxes, to the packages that hold aspirin, spare parts, and miscellaneous containers of all sorts. I use a Sharpie marker to write what I need to know on the remaining packaging.

Leftover food can be fed to the fishes. Saltwater wash of the pots, pans, plates, and silverware before a fresh rinse saves on water.

Remaining plastic containers,food cans, long life milk boxes, et al, are rinsed clean with salt water (so as not to rot and stink) crushed and stored up in the vee berth next to the holding tank until a shore-side dump station is found.

Just a couple of my tips, there are bound to be many more, but basically, you pre-limit your trash prior to ever leaving the dock...

Good luck with your voyages and fair winds.
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Old 20-09-2008, 19:42   #3
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On a long cruise, this is where discipline in separation and hygiene play a big part.

Biodegradable food scraps go over the side as does food cans and bottles, which are sunk in deep water on a passage.

Plastic or foil food packaging and containers are rinsed clean with left over dish water then compacted into HD storage bags, which when full are double bagged and sealed.

We avoid excessive use of paper towels and napkins, preferring small white linen napkins that go into a sealed bleach soak container and are laundered once a week if conditions allow.

At the pristine or any island, once we have made friends ashore we ask their help and permission on how we can dispose of our plastic garbage. If it is a deserted place, we dig a pit, burn and bury it.

The secret to cruising is to buy in bulk sizes and store in really good quality containers that are airtight. Getting rid of all that wrapping before you leave the marina or a developed anchorage makes life much easier and you do not become a visitor bearing smelly gifts......
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Old 20-09-2008, 19:49   #4
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Yargh, real sailors EAT their trash. And dead.

Plan ahead to make less trash and carry less with you.

Offshore--well offshore and following MARPOL regulations--many of us see no harm in tearing the FAST biodegradeables into small bits and feeding the fish with them.

And what's left can be washed in a mesh bag dragged over the side, then crushed and stored in sealed plastic bags for a proper disposal.

Cans and bottles are more hotly debated, even in deep water. Bottles are, after all, just "sand" and divers eagerly collect them after a hundred years of aging. Still, they are pollution. And cans--aluminum or steel--don't degrade for a suprisingly long time. If you can bring them back ashore for recycling, you still help to save energy and resources by turning them into feedstock for the next generation of cans and bottles. Follow your heart on that one, there are bigger things to keep you up at night.
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Old 20-09-2008, 20:55   #5
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Lightbulb

Also it's a real good idea to have a written "Garbage disposal plan" on board, maybe with your boats documents. This must entail who is responsible for garbage disposal and how it will be disposed of. Coast Guard writes tickets for this NOT being on board. Check the Coast Guard regs. on this.
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Old 20-09-2008, 21:16   #6
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Folks, Thanks a bunch, you all have been most helpful, all makes a lot of sense...

Cheers
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Old 20-09-2008, 22:29   #7
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I'm between boats right now but I have been experimenting a bit with this subject. Plastic bottles or containers are hard to crush or compact I find if you have a good set of shears you can cut them in half or quarters top to bottom and they will nest and not take up much room. I fitted an 8 lb mushroom anchor to a piece of 2" PVC pipe, it works well as a tamper to crush cardboard paper trash or aluminum cans in a heavy duty plastic bucket, just tamping, not hard enough to knock a hole in the deck. Just by leaving the anchor on the trash in the bucket the weight of the anchor will keep the trash compressed. If you drink a lot of beer or drinks from cans there are can crushers made which work well too.
If pirates board your boat some night you can knock them on the head with the mushroom anchor on the end of the PVC pipe, they won't be back!
It's boring being between boats, so much so that playing around with trash seems like fun!
Good crusin'
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Old 21-09-2008, 09:36   #8
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Shu, your boat falls two feet within the law.

That is, "If your vessel is 40’ and longer, you are required to have a “MARPOLplacard as well as a written waste management plan."

For the 90%+ of recreational boaters, whose boats are well under 40'OAL, there's no need for a written plan. And for the half (roughly) of all recreational boaters who are sailing something less than 26' OAL, the placard is not required, either.
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Old 21-09-2008, 09:44   #9
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Yep, and "CapCook" is planning a 50' Cat. So he would fall into the same area. However you are correct that most boats do not fit this regulation.
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Old 21-09-2008, 10:08   #10
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Good info thanks to all

Where can I get the Marpol regulations? Maybe on a .pdf file.

Best,
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Old 21-09-2008, 13:25   #11
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Originally Posted by Soft Air View Post
Good info thanks to all
Where can I get the Marpol regulations? Maybe on a .pdf file.
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MARPOL
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973:

http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/jsct/march2003/report/chap4.pdf

International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL)
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Old 31-10-2009, 15:34   #12
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I looked but could not find a PDF copy of the place card but did find a couple of JPG files of it. I did find a couple of PDF files of waste management plans with fill in the blanks you can print out and use. I have uploaded these to my web site for folks to download if needed. I would think you could print out the pic of the place card and laminate it to use or for that matter just use clear tape good enough for the coasties.

Go here:
Index of /UserFiles/MARPOL

Wayne Canning, AMS
projectboatzen.com
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Old 31-10-2009, 16:39   #13
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Remember, if you have room to bring it, you have room to bring it back.

That said, when at sea we toss the bio trash overboard, sink the bottles (but I'm reconsidering this), and rinse/store everything else in a heavy "contractor's" trash bag. One guy I sailed with liked to put his used plastic food wrappings back in the refrigerator (they stayed cold and didn't stink). I prefer to rinse and bag this stuff.
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Old 31-10-2009, 17:42   #14
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We use paper lunch bags for some stuff like paper towels, tin foil, and food scraps that don't go overboard right away. In open water I toss a lot overboard.

Things I never toss overboard:
- plastic
- anything petroleum based
- polysulfide (caulking) strips. crap lasts forever.
- anything that i think could float and be seen by someone within a day or so, or anything that could harm marine life by breaking down.

You can do a lot to minimize by getting rid of excess packaging, and buying unprocessed food. 20lb's of potatoes comes in one plastic bag you'll ditch before you leave. Apples last a long time and the cores go overboard.

We use a lot of paper towels. I try to buy the non bleached recycled variety, because I feel less guilty sending them into the water, and using up so many of them.

Within a few miles of land everything is kept in trashbags and disposed of onshore.
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Old 31-10-2009, 18:08   #15
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Segregate and store. Stuff like pieces of veggies or fruits goes overboard. Smelly items go to multiple plastic bags and we store them on the deck.

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