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Old 20-11-2016, 11:55   #1
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Dealing with galley scraps at anchor?

Honestly, I have been searching on CF past posts for an answer but I not really coming up with what I am seeking.

How do you deal with galley scraps / oganic waste at anchor? I am such a cruising newbie!

Obviously the goal is to mitigate odor and bugs but "chuck it" sounds like fouling your own space if you are anchored out. A two week stint can generate a lot of scraps even if you are fairly efficient and don't waste food. Of particular concern for me is spent coffee grounds. I drink a lot of coffee! I use a french press so I don't have to worry about paper filters but storing the wet grounds doesn't seem right either.

I know, I know, I'm making too much of it! Bury the mess on shore? What to do?
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Old 20-11-2016, 12:07   #2
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Re: Dealing with galley scraps at anchor?

Your kidding right?

Galley scraps are fully biodegradable and go over board. What the fish, crabs, and other marine life dont consume will decompose naturally.

Maybe if you were in a crowded municipal anchorage you might take them ashore with the trash, but normally...toss em.
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Old 20-11-2016, 12:20   #3
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Re: Dealing with galley scraps at anchor?

Give your coffee grounds to someone with a composting head. The rest, toss. The gulls will recycle the food into white paint for your sailcover, bimini etc.
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Old 20-11-2016, 12:25   #4
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Re: Dealing with galley scraps at anchor?

Rough rule - if your blackwater seacocks are open then galley scraps go overboard.

If the anchorage is a unique habitat/convergence region/or someone's cove - I'd be considerate. Not nice to have a bunch of organic rotting garbage floating about if the water isn't dispersing it.
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Old 20-11-2016, 12:25   #5
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Re: Dealing with galley scraps at anchor?

All biodegradable stuff, yes right overboard... however! If in a harbor with no flushing action, nice neighborhood with fancy houses, lots of other boats anchored nearby or similar situations where the aesthetics are a concern in addition to the ethics then maybe use a bit of discretion.

Coffee grounds and such that will disappear, let them go right in. Something larger that might cause visual pollution like banana peels or other stuff that will float in large chunks maybe look for a plan B. Wait until dark or an outgoing tide or maybe save it in a compost bucket for disposal where it won't be noticed.

I do try to remember that there are some that consider recycling food waste as littering so try to do it with some consideration of their feelings, especially if I'm anchored in front of their house.
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Old 20-11-2016, 13:55   #6
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Re: Dealing with galley scraps at anchor?

I can't say about other places but...

  • Vegetable mater goes over. This time of year uncountable tons of leaves are blowing off the trees, and in the summer whole trees go in floods.
  • Fish carcasses. Most fisherman encourage these to be tossed to feed the crabs. They get picked clean fast.
  • The minnows seem to school around everything else.
But honestly, on the boat there is VERY little food waste. Don't prepare more than folks will eat, and keep the left overs. Explain the realities of boat life to anyone who take more on their plate than they eat.
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Old 20-11-2016, 14:09   #7
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Re: Dealing with galley scraps at anchor?

I've always wondered why it's OK to grind up a fish and toss it overboard as "chum" (fish bait) but if you cook the fish first and eat most of it and throw the rest overboard that's "garbage" and against the law.

Personally, we dump food scraps overboard but obviously not in large quantities or with other people watching.
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Old 20-11-2016, 14:21   #8
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Re: Dealing with galley scraps at anchor?

We tend to do as Skipmac describes. If itís a low-flow or busy anchorage, we will accumulate our organics in a galley container (~4 litres) for later dumping while on passage. If this gets to overflowing I will let small amounts loose at night (in the case where there are lots of other eyes around). Itís mostly aesthetics, but some places have lower capacity to biodegrade organics. I try not to overload a sensitive eco-system with my concentrated crap.

Coffee grounds almost always go over the side though. Our french press gets dumped and doused over the side. Grounds sink quickly. Not sure how environmentally responsible this is Ö Sorry to say, but itís out of sight, out of mind.
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Old 20-11-2016, 14:27   #9
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Re: Dealing with galley scraps at anchor?

It all depend on where I'm anchored, for how long, whether there's garbage disposal options on shore, etc.

Throwing food scraps overboard in an enclosed harbor packed with boats in front of a town on Lake Superior is not the same as throwing food scarps overboard anchored off a deserted island in the Bahamas. If anchored in a crowded area for a while with no good disposal options, I tend to avoid meals that will generate smelly food scraps.

If I was somewhere, where it was inappropriate to dump even coffee grounds overboard I'd just collect them in ziplock bags and get rid of them when appropriate. Coffee grounds aren't chicken remains, they aren't going to get that smelly in a few days. In fact at home, I find used coffee grounds can even be placed in the fridge to absorb odors.
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Old 20-11-2016, 14:27   #10
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Re: Dealing with galley scraps at anchor?

Whew! The coffee grounds question was seriously tie in me in knots. Thank you to those who gave advice. We actually have a composting head, but adding extra material is not really wise simply because you don't want to fill the bucket quickly,n or introduce anything that can mold. Afterall, it's not really "composting" as much as dessicating. Wet material, like spent coffee grounds, will keep everything from drying out sufficiently without adding more absorbent material, onion peels, probably ok!
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Old 20-11-2016, 14:34   #11
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Re: Dealing with galley scraps at anchor?

Overboard on an outgoing tide is my way.
Cheers.
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Old 20-11-2016, 14:35   #12
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Re: Dealing with galley scraps at anchor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Dreaming View Post
Whew! The coffee grounds question was seriously tie in me in knots. Thank you to those who gave advice. We actually have a composting head, but adding extra material is not really wise simply because you don't want to fill the bucket quickly,n or introduce anything that can mold. Afterall, it's not really "composting" as much as dessicating. Wet material, like spent coffee grounds, will keep everything from drying out sufficiently without adding more absorbent material, onion peels, probably ok!
Weíre happy compost head owners as well, and I agree with you about adding wet coffee ground ó bad idea. But Iíve read somewhere (possibly here on CF) about drying out the old grounds first, and then using that as bedding material in the head.

I havenít tried this out yet. Love to hear if anyone has had success doing this, b/c we generate a lot of coffee grounds .
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Old 20-11-2016, 14:38   #13
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Re: Dealing with galley scraps at anchor?

Re: drying out coffee grounds....worth a try but how does one dry the grounds sufficiently?
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Old 20-11-2016, 14:43   #14
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Re: Dealing with galley scraps at anchor?

I'm on board 24x7 so I have to do a rubbish run every second or third day. But if in open waters I throw biodegradable scraps, chicken bones etc overboard. But never guilty of orange or banana peel which float forever and which no creature with taste buds is evergoing to eat.
Leaving for Tasmania in a couple of months and will often be anchoring in deserted places.
In that situation I'll have to go ashore & do the old Vietnam boonies trick...burn, bash & bury.
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Old 20-11-2016, 15:07   #15
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Re: Dealing with galley scraps at anchor?

SeaDreaming,

Do the burn, bash, bury at low water, and the incoming tide will disperse whatever's left. We used old, dirty diesel to help get the stuff burning, and you may be surprised, but you can burn aluminum drinks cans. If you want to store wet garbage, I do it in good sealing containers, pickle jars, yoghurt tubs with good sealing lids, etc., and if you cut plastic, foil, cellophane, etc. into shreds, you can stuff a lot of it into a juice or milk jug-- just keep on pushing it down with a wooden spoon handle.

Our coffee grounds go overboard, too.
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