Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
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Re: Ten Tips for Clean and Green Boating
A few inaccuracies. I'm in the waste disposal and recycling industry, and have designed, built, and operated some of the largest facilities.
1. Absorbent pads are not hazardous waste and are only regulated waste if there is free-flowing oil. If disposed of at a "site" there are 19 chances in 20 that the pads will be sent to a land fill as is. Just make sure you use enough absorbent and bag it. I chair the industry association committee. So little interest, the quarterly meeting of this sub-committee was cancelled.
2. Used antifreeze is only a hazardous waste in a very few states. It is recyclable and is generally prohibited from sewer or surface water discharge.
Next, I'm not saying spills are OK--they are NOT--but whether dispersants make sense is situation specific. They should not be used to hide spills; however, there are other factors. Is a surface film more or less harmful than dispersed oil? Will it evaporate (recreational fuels will as they are all distillates--Fstbottms is most correct)? Is the environment (warm, enough organisms) such that breaking the oil up with make it more biodegradable? Not a simple matter. But we can agree prevention is simple and is best.
3. Soap does not send light products like used oil, diesel, or gasoline to the bottom. They distribute it in the column. Only certain components of crude and #6 oil can settle. Simply not true, try the experiment at home. Urban legend. Additionally, many soaps are harmful in their own right and increase the toxicity of oils.
4. Heavy oil eventually sink without dispersants; the light parts evaporate, and the remaining asphalt-like part sinks.
What we SHOULD do is engineer our boats to prevent spills, rather than talk about clean-up, which is always bad.
1. Make over-fills impossible.
a. Place the vent above the fill and where it can be seen and protected.
b. Install a fuel/air separator on the vent.
2. For gasoline, install a silica gel vent filter; it will prevent water absorption and prevent gasoline evaporation.
3. If bilge oil is unavoidable, install an oil absorbing filter on the sump pump (you will need a second pump for this, since it will plug).
Not hard. The mods probably pay for themselves, if they avoid one oops.
(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")
"Well, I just climb up to them."
by Joe Brown, English rock climber
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 05-04-2015 at 02:39 PM.