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Waste management compliance in ports is essential
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Waste management compliance in ports is essential

Proper handling of maritime waste is essential for a healthy marine ecosystem

Generating a diverse range of waste including hazardous materials, the maritime sector requires specialised waste management services to ensure environmental sustainability and compliance with local and international legislation. 

Ports must fulfil waste management requirements of both local and international regulations, such as the MARPOL Convention, which covers the prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships. In addition to the waste that is removes from vessels arriving in port, there is also a need to ensure adequate quayside waste management.

“With up to 3,000 contractors working on a vessel, a lot of waste is produced, says EnviroServ Waste Management’s Regional Sales Manager, Anje Bowler adding that access to waste facilities within harbours is crucial.

EnviroServ provides general and technical services to those in the maritime industry, such as ships agents, terminal operators, ports authorities, commercial fishing and marine mining industries and other types of vessels.

Bowler highlights the need for experienced waste management providers in port environments. “In technical cases such as cleaning in confined spaces or where a laboratory analysis is needed, your waste management provider should have the experience to do proper pre-planning to assess the scope of work. This will determine which authorities need to be involved and what PPE is required,” she explains.

“Galley waste consists of food or kitchen waste which is generated on-board vessels, and as it may contain infectious waste, as well as materials such as fishing nets, asbestos, oil, residues and other noxious chemicals, is all hazardous waste and must be safely disposed of at an appropriately licensed landfill facility."

 “Galley waste consists of food or kitchen waste which is generated on-board vessels, and as it may contain infectious waste, as well as materials such as fishing nets, asbestos, oil, residues and other noxious chemicals, is all hazardous waste and must be safely disposed of at an appropriately licensed landfill facility,” she adds.

While onboard facilities and crew training are necessary to ensure the safe handling of waste while at sea, specialists are available in ports to manage the safe discharge and disposal of material.

Dealing with a variety of waste

“We often have to deal with ships which arrive in our harbours with expired produce after long delays at sea for various reasons. If this is no longer fit for consumption, EnviroServ conducts sampling to determine how contaminated or spoilt it is, which determines if it can be used for compost or must be sent to landfill,” says Bowler describing the wide variety of waste scenarios that the company deals with on a regular basis.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) witnesses the destruction of certain goods to ensure they have been destroyed, and the company is experienced in working with the officials. “These processes can take some time as the correct paperwork must be obtained,” she says. 

EnviroServ is currently contracted to assist with the safe disposal of waste from a research unit in Antarctica, which arrives on a container ship once every six months.

“This mixed waste is taken to our Vissershok waste management facility where it is segregated by hand by our industrial cleaning team, depending on the appropriate treatment technology for the various waste types. This ranges from recycling, to e-waste, hazardous waste and medical waste for incineration. There are many international regulations involved in this, and EnviroServ is skilled in managing these types of situations, in compliance with health and safety regulations and various licence conditions in place,” Bowler says explaining the stringent processes involved in dealing with these loads.

Implementing comprehensive waste management services, and embracing innovative technologies, not only ensures compliance with regulations but also contributes to the overall sustainability of marine ecosystems and supports the maritime industry's commitment to environmental responsibility.

 

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