Is it unrealistic to think I won't throw trash o/b while offshore? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 10-24-2010
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Is it unrealistic to think I won't throw trash o/b while offshore?

I read another posters comment in another thread about water makers and not throwing bottles o/b, and it got me thinking about littering in the ocean. Is it unrealistic to expect to keep all our trash onboard until we reach port?

I remember a conversation I had about a year ago with a guy at my marina who scoffed at the notion of stowing trash until making port. I made the argument to him that, since it all was able to be packed in the first place, couldn't it just be re packed in it's same spot once emptied/consumed? It's not like the mass has increased. In fact, it has decreased as the product stored inside has been consumed.

I cannot picture myself throwing the least bit of any trash into the ocean, much less all of it during a passage.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-24-2010
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You would be inviting disease on board if you tried to keep everything until port. But I'm assuming that your really offshore and not just coastal cruising. There would be all manner of bactiria that could make your boat really unhealthy.

You also aren't answering the question of just how loaded the boat was leaving port. Assuming your on a thirty foot boat going to sea for an extended cruise, you could even resort to storing stuff on deck do to lack of space below. You would plan to re-pack as you consumed your consumables.

So in theory you could bring back everything but for practical reasons is better to disposes of your trash properly rather then trying to store it all on board until you return. Again I'm assuming that your out for more then a few days.
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Old 10-24-2010
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I think 'trash' is too generic a term. Rapidly biodegradable materials - paper, food scraps - perhaps they could slip over. *possibly* glass (fairly pure silicon). But plastics....I'd prefer to store as much as possible.
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Old 10-24-2010
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+1 for Dan's comments

Offshore (way offshore)the following go overboard:

Metals - they corrode (leave a pop can in the bilge for a while to see what I mean)
Paper products - biodegrade (Check carefully; tetrapacks have metal and plastic, but they collapse well.)
Glass - solid state sand
Food products - I hope it biodegrade (Apparently a Big Mac may be an issue.)

Plastic - never.
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Old 10-24-2010
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Interesting. Paper, glass, bio degradable food (funny about the Mickey D's apparent lack of biodegradability), etc are probably ok.

Looks like plastic (for the most part) is the only real no no. I know I will feel bad throwing anything other than food o/b though, bio degradable or not.
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Old 10-24-2010
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Old 10-25-2010
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When you put your trash ashore, it will likely be taken and dumped on the ground. Civilized countries may bury it, uncivilized leave it in the street. The environment is much better off to have your chicken bone and dirty paper plate fully decomposed in the deep sea. You must only keep that which won't decompose aboard, at least in hope that it may be recycled when you reach shore.
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Old 10-25-2010
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Anything but plastic and oil.

You are supposed to cut everything up.
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Old 10-25-2010
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Firstly, we keep trash that is not organic/biodegradable. - eg any plastic and some/most cans with the white plastic liner etc.

Biodegradable stuff goes over the side, but obviously not in sensitive areas. I am talking about food scraps, used tea from tea bags, but the used tea bag itself, we store for later disposal.

At the Kitchen (galley for you swabs), we have a couple of old lunch boxes with a plastic liner. This is for our 'dumping over the side pile' and for the 'other rubbish'. For example; I would take the 'over the side' box upstairs (up the companionway - swabtalk) and rub the used teabags until they burst over the side, and chuck banana peel etc as well.

This would really limit or rather control our buying as well - because we knew that if the container must be stored, it had to be crushable etc. We bought as much fresh stuff as possible and froze or cryovac'd.

Alternatively, for example fruit jars (plastic square with large screw top lid) are kept and used for storage of anything from other food to nuts/shackles/whatever

Another issue is the Quarantine people. They go through your rubbish. So, therefore, put a few egg shells and orange peels in the rubbish bag for a few days before you get where-ever, knowing Quarantine will look. The reason is they will question your garbage storing / dumping philosophy if you have 'not enough' garbage. They have by-laws about dumping rubbish in territorial waters and you do not wish to be 'flagged on their radar'!

How much rubbish is generated: For a family of 3, this amounts to about 2 moderate size garbage bags every 3 weeks. Ours are stored at the stern. Others store them in garbage bins etc. Crushed stuff is rinsed first to reduce smell later.

On passage for us, the longest offshore is about 6 days, but pretty much all were max of 4 days. For you lot, to Hawaii or to the Marquesas, you are talking a few weeks. So really, there is not a huge amount of garbage to be stored, if it is planned and organised well.

CnC: Its great to see you are thinking about the real everyday things onboard when cruising.

Cheers
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Old 10-25-2010
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(a) This section applies to the following:
(1) Each manned U.S. ship (other than a fixed or floating platform) that is 26 feet or more in length.
(2) Each manned floating platform in transit that isó
(i) Documented under the laws of the United States; or (ii) Operating under the authority of the United States, including, but not limited to, a lease or permit issued by an agency of the United States.
(b) The master or person in charge of each ship under paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section shall ensure that one or more placards meeting the requirements of this section are displayed in prominent locations and in sufficient numbers so that they can be read by the crew and passengers. These locations must be readily accessible to the intended reader and may include embarkation points, food service facilities, garbage handling spaces, and common spaces on deck. If the Captain of the Port determines that the number or location of the placards is insufficient to adequately inform crew and passengers, the Captain of the Port may require additional placards and may specify their locations.
(c) Each placard must be at least nine inches wide by four inches high, made of a durable material, and lettered with letters at least 1 inch high.
(d) Except as under paragraph (e) of this section, the placard must notify the reader of the following:
(1) The discharge of plastic or garbage mixed with plastic into any waters is prohibited.
(2) The discharge of all garbage is prohibited in the navigable waters of the United States and, in all other waters, within three nautical miles of the nearest land.
(3) The discharge of dunnage, lining, and packing materials that float is prohibited within 25 nautical miles of the nearest land.
(4) Other unground garbage may be discharged beyond 12 nautical miles from the nearest land.
(5) Other garbage ground to less than one inch may be discharged beyond three nautical miles of the nearest land.
(6) A person who violates the above requirements is liable for a civil penalty for each violation, and the criminal penalties of a class D felony. Placards installed on vessels before May 7, 1997, need not be replaced; and existing stocks of placards, containing previous language, may be used. When language on a placard is inconsistent with the language in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) due to use of a placard containing previous language penalty amounts contained in the CFR are controlling.
(7) Regional, State, and local restrictions on garbage discharges also may apply.
(e) For ships while operating on the Great Lakes or their connecting or tributary waters, the placard mustó(1) Notify the reader of the information in paragraph (d) of this section; or (2) Notify the reader of the following:
(i) The discharge of all garbage into the Great Lakes or their connecting or tributary waters is prohibited.
(ii) A person who violates the above requirements is liable for a civil penalty for each violation, and the criminal penalties of a class D felony. Placards installed on vessels before May 7, 1997, need not be replaced; and existing stocks of placards, containing previous language, may be used. When language on a placard is inconsistent with the language in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) due to use of a placard containing previous language, penalty amounts contained in the CFR are controlling.
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