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Old 15-11-2012, 20:09   #1
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What is your Trick for saving /recycling/ storing Garbage at sea on an extended voyage?
We already recycle everything at home and Pack it out on short sails but even with massive fore planning i can see a lot of cans and paper?
We have never thrown anything over the side but how much waste can you store on a pacific crossing?

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Old 15-11-2012, 20:17   #2
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Re: Garbage

The reality is you can't. Some anticipation of the problem helps - by placing everything requiring containers to be stored in reusable plastic ones, not using cans whenever possible, minimizing use of paper products, etc... Between islands, we managed to store everything but that too has it's problems as garbage disposal on shore in many Pacific islands is dubious and often unhealthy. It may seem counter-intuitive but frankly, saving garbage for disposal on shore in many places can be worse than dumping it overboard.

The larger islands usually have facilities to accept waste but they are few and far between if you are cruising the Pacific.

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Old 15-11-2012, 20:43   #3
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Re: Garbage

The MARPOL convention outlines what you can and cant and where you can discharge waste. This is from an Aussie site. But its an international convention so the basics will be same, with perhaps, some local content.

Summary of Discharge Standards
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Old 15-11-2012, 21:46   #4
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Re: Garbage

Cans tossed over board will biodegrade, aluminum ones very very quickly. Glass bottles: knock the bottom out of them and toss overboard. The glass will become homes for some lucky bottom dweller. I'm assuming offshore passage in deep water.

Plastics and paper can usually be compacted and stored till you reach your destination. If there is a proper landfill, toss them in the trash. If not, burn it on the beach and roast marhsmallows.

Most 3rd world countries either have no trash facilities or just pick a suitable ravine or ditch and dump everything in. Either way, it's kust being dumped into the environment with no protection of ground water.
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Old 16-11-2012, 00:24   #5
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Re: Garbage

Whats wrong with putting paper/cardboard over the side? will turn to mush very quickly and mostly harmless, plastics on the other had are the problem!

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Old 16-11-2012, 01:15   #6
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Re: Garbage

I toss everything but plastic over the side when offshore. However cans and bottles need to be modified to sink properly before reaching a shore. Cans get a hole in the bottom and bottles get the bottom knocked out. The hydraulic handle is perfect for this. If that is inconvenient I fill them from the seawater tap before tossing. Open cans and bottles will float better and longer than a multihull. Proper paper, uncoated, goes over in small bits. When within a day of shore, or among the Philippine Islands like now, I save everything so the locals can despoil a ravine or beach with it themselves.

In theory the trash should not take up as much room as the goods it shouldn't be hard to store. A week or more doesn't amount to much.

Keep the food scraps out of the trash, that there is a smell problem.
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Old 16-11-2012, 03:55   #7
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Re: Garbage

Throw all organic stuff overboard immediately. We remove the tops and bottoms of food cans, Aluminum gets crushed, Paper products get torn into smaller pieces before all of it is thrown over board. Plastic gets stored on board, after being washed first.

We normally keep large garden type trash bags on board for garbage and store it in the anchor locker when we are coastal cruising.
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Old 17-11-2012, 12:47   #8
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Re: Garbage

It begins in the supermarket. Have the butcher custom-cut meats, remove skin and bone and wrap them in butcher paper. No plastic trays. In some island nations, locals are very grateful for large plastic containers and for glass jars with plastic lids if you have room to save them. Metal lids rust quickly, so plastics and glass are cherished.
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Old 18-11-2012, 12:03   #9
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Re: Garbage

I try to minimize the trash and garbage we take aboard. I remove food that comes in boxes & Styrofoam then store it in airtight plastic bags or canisters I take sturdy reusable water bottles and also use a SodaStream instead of carrying cans and bottles aboard. I keep a supply of cloth napkins on board instead of paper. Cans are crushed and food scraps are thrown overboard.
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Old 18-11-2012, 15:47   #10
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Re: Garbage

I'm going to mention something I did to DISPOSE OF PLASTIC AT SEA that will surely open me up to all kinds of scrutiny. Like a lot of other cruisers everything but plastic gets prepped and goes overboard. If I thought saving any of the paper/cans/bottles would lower my impact on the evironment then I would, but I see no evidence to support that paper and so forth in a landfill or incinerator is better than dumped far offshore. So that only leaves Plastic which can be stored quite easily if you want, just wash any remaining food from the bags in sea water first to avoid stench. OR you can try this on a calm day, it's even entertaining. Take an empty cardboard tray from a case of beer or other suitable box. Line the outside of the box with tinfoil. Now you have a small biodegradable raft. Throw all your plastic or paper and whatever else you want to get rid of in there. Add some alcohol or other accelerant. Now here is the tricky part :-). Place it in the water and ignite it. If done correctly everything stays dry from the foil-reinforced cardboard and burns, then the remains of your raft sinks . Now if you were going to just burn it at the next island anyway I can't see any harm done other than possibly catching your boat on fire (the igniting part requires a lot of planning and creativity or you will find your self performing a MOB drill on the un-ignited garbage or worse, on fire. If your doing this on a very calm day in the trade winds make sure your raft doesn't sail faster than you or it might create a nervous situation. I suppose this was discovered and implemented more out of boredom than any necessity. Ok, I'm ready to hear why this is a horrible thing to do! :-).
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Old 18-11-2012, 16:45   #11

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Re: Garbage

I'm in the canvas trade . I have a large bag built of topgun that hangs off the back pushpit. It attaches with 3 commonsense fasteners on a flap, has a carrying strap,drawstring and handle on the bottom for emptying in dumpsters. I advertised one on ebay for $65 and didn't get a bite after 3 auctions. I've built quite a few for people once word got around how handy they are.

I try to minimise trash by canning my own food and buying bulk foods that go right into cannisters. Most of my trash is canvas related and isn't an issue while cruising. At the grocer produce goes right into backpack w/o bags.
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Old 25-11-2012, 04:38   #12
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Re: Garbage

Here are some tips I've found handy:

Trash Management
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Old 25-11-2012, 05:11   #13
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Re: Garbage

Boat maintainance always requires various containers for paints, varnishes, resins,etc.
Many cans will stack within a slightly larger size, 5 in 1 I'm looking at, all fit inside a large peanut butter, all plastic jar.
so many projects--so little time !!
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Old 25-11-2012, 05:14   #14
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Re: Garbage

My thoughts have changed on this.... I don't throw cans over anymore. On a long passage this is difficult because that's the space waster. In mid ocean it's probably fine except the cans with white plastic interiors.

Paper products go over the side but test for plastic film on the outside. The labeling nowadays is on a plastic film.

On our pacific trip Nicolle cut up all plastic so it laid flat and then into plastic shopping bags, then into the aft lazarette. That really reduced the size but is a time consuming method.
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Old 25-11-2012, 05:41   #15
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Re: Garbage

I have been looking for a small hand operated shredder that would mince thin metal and more importantly plastic to reduce it as Mark suggested. I have looked online but have yet to find anything. If anyone knows of such a thing please let me know. I think something like that would really reduce the space needed to store that type of waste.

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