Ship´s Waste Collection (Sewage and Garbage MARPOL Annex IV-V)

Compliance with MARPOL environmental regulations, requires that all ships includingcruise ships, yachts, catamarans and small boats, be clean and safe. This is a real challenge. Port reception facilities can collect ships’ waste by means of mobile collecting facilities (vessels or vehicles) or fixed facilities (storage containers). Ship´s waste collection plants are highly experienced in using technology to meet environmental standards for segregation, treatment and recycling. Its solutions have become a world reference for the management of ship wastewater. For example, they offer the recycling solutions for larger ships, such as cruise ships and ships, complete and fully integrated packages for treating wet and dry waste.

How waste collection works for ships and cruises

It is a classification society requirement, that all ships including cruises are delivered from the shipyards with incorporated/integrated waste treatment systems. The latest trends are complete waste treatment packages for ships, where all systems work together. In practice, the new waste collection system for ships offers better possibilities for reuse and recycling. Materials such as metal, plastic, paper and glass can now be collected separately inside the ship. They are transferred ashore when the ship arrives at the port. The materials can be transferred to a plant for recycling. Keep a good waste segregation on board for recycling and try not to mix them.All ships should be provided with a Garbage Management Plan and a Garbage Record Book.

Solid waste and liquid waste generated by ships

The water is processed through a grey and black water treatment system. A greywater recycling system uses water primarily from showers and bathtubs. It can also capture water from bathroom or wastewater from the utility sink and washing machine.Wastewater that includes toilet waste is called black water.

Dry waste is treated together with biological material and other burnable waste. These can be segregated and disposed to the shore facilities for recycling or burned on board in incinerators, in accordance with the ship’s waste management plan.One of the advantages of complete solutions to manage waste is the reduction of theecological footprint. On cruise ships, for example, a surprising amount of waste can accumulate in a short time. In the past, storing waste required a lot of space on board, now as a large part of the waste is managed on board, there is less storage capacity necessaryto store it .  Today, less space is needed on the ship.

Modern waste management also brings benefits for the environment. The less energy the waste treatment systems use, the less energy must be produced. Currently, the total treatment of waste involves an efficient process of waste collection for ships, recycling or disposal with modern low-emission incinerators. This system provides high efficiency and the lowest environmental impact.

Types of waste generated by a ship and treatment(MARPOL Annex IV -V)

Regulations for the prevention of pollution by sewage are contained in MARPOL Annex IV.


  • Gray water: It is wastewater that comes from showers, bathtubs and sinks.
  • Black water: This wastewater comes from toilets and urinals.

In the largest and most modern ships (ships and cruise ships), grey and black water are collected and taken to theSewageTreatment Systemfor treatment before disposal. On smaller vessels, these watersneed to be collected on board and disposed to the shore facilities in port for treatment.

Regulations for the prevention of pollution by garbage from ships are contained in Annex V of MARPOL.

  • Garbage:Under MARPOL Annex V, garbage includes all kinds of food, domestic and operational waste, all plastics, cargo residues, incinerator ashes, cooking oil, fishing gear, and animal carcasses generated during the normal operation of the ship and liable to be disposed of continuously or periodically. Garbage does not include fresh fish and parts thereof generated as a result of fishing activities undertaken during the voyage, or as a result of aquaculture activities.

Food waste and non-recyclable garbage will go to the ship’s waste management system (if you have one), where it will be burned. If the ship does not have a waste plant, these will be separated into recyclable and non-recyclable. We will wait for the waste collection company at the port, which will take care of them.

Governments ensure the provision of adequate reception facilities at ports and terminals for the reception of garbage without causing undue delay to ships, and according to the needs of the ships using them.

Role of the waste collection company in port

The effectiveness of ships to comply with the discharge requirements of MARPOL depends largely upon the availability of adequate port reception facilities, especially within special areas.

This companies provides waste disposal services for the world’s largest ocean liners and ships. A waste collection company works with the main shipping companies and ports.

The companies have marine treatment facilities, which have been designed and built to manage hazardous and non-hazardous waste from cruise ships, general cargo ships, tankers, container ships , carriers etc . They have work barges, fleets of specialized marine vehicles, a fully authorized station for the transfer of hazardous waste and a plant specialized in oil recovery.Ship waste collection companies have to adhere to the highest health, safety and environmental standards. They must have the technical capabilities to guarantee full compliance with the strict legislation on marine waste. The facilities may have the capacity to collect, treat, store and dispose of more than 2,000 tons of waste. Typically, services are tailored to the exact needs of the vessel type. A good management company adjusts to the ship’s deadlines and any limited access issues to provide reliable and efficient waste collection 24 hours a day.

The company will have the relevant environmental licenses and certificates to manage waste with quality guarantees (ISO 9001 is for the management of marine waste).

What value does the waste collection company provide?

Waste barges can be capable of carrying up to 320 tonnes of liquid waste in bulk and 100 tonnes of deck cargo. This means that they can collect large volumes of waste out of sight of passengers while disembarking or embarking. They help create a positive experience for passengers. Large unloading, such as furniture and mattresses, can be done on short notice, minimizing activity on the dock during busy hours.

The company can also offer a so-called “full zero waste to landfill service”, a first for the shipping industry. You will eliminate all waste in the most appropriate and responsible way, you will achieve significant savings in costs and carbon emissions, while maintaining strict compliance with the legislation.

Where does the waste go?

When the waste reaches the company’s premises, it is analysed for hazardous components. The paper, cardboard and plastic mix are sent to the recycling plant. General and food waste is sent to another adjacent energy recovery facility, where it can be incinerated to create green electricity exportable to the national grid.

Oily mixturesare pumped to shore facilities, where it is separated from the water and checked for quality. The recovered oil can be reused as industrial fuel. The wastewater is sent to a specialized treatment plant for biological purification before being discharged into the sewer network.

Amarok Shipping Agency offers all services that a ship may need on its port of call, including the ship´s waste collection.

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