WASTE MANAGEMENT: Where does the recycled rubbish end up?

WASTE MANAGEMENT: Where does the recycled rubbish end up?

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David Gates, founder of CleanSuperyachtMarina highlights the issues of waste management in different marinas, and what we can all do to help.

Having visited almost all superyacht marinas in Europe & The USA it was noted that facilities in each marina/refit yard vary from good to awful in regards to waste management across the board. What we discovered, along with insights from different crew members made us question why there hasn’t been an industry standard practise as yet. 

Burgess Yachts

It is widely known that the crew often want to recycle waste onboard their vessel and be seen be making a difference to marine plastics and pollution. However, having cleaned and sorted their rubbish, the crew place their relevant bags in what they consider to be recycling bins. When the refuse lorry arrives to pick up the waste, they are often hugely disappointed to find that one lorry comes along and mixes all the waste together.

This can lead to crew becoming disheartened and potentially go back to single-use plastics back in the main bin, no doubt destined for landfill.



Islands and Landfill

Many superyachts visit and spend a lot of time in Caribbean islands and places like the Maldives. Often these island nations have no recycling facilities, this leads to all waste being dumped in landfills, some of which are being set on fire and left to fall into the sea and mangrove forests. This is a disaster for juvenile marine life and vegetation, let alone the emissions from burning waste contributing to climate change.

Burgess Yachts

Issues with marinas in these parts of the world require Governmental support in terms of improved facilities. However, we hope to help shine a light on these issues and see if there is anything as an industry we can do to help these nations to improve.

Burgess Yachts

Questionnaire and the Future

Some of the answers to the issues of waste management are simple and obvious. Clear and more recognisable signage on or above bins, including a poster or board that informs crew what the bins can accommodate and where this waste goes, would help massively. This will no doubt be part of the solution.

However, to try and dig into other issues and look at areas where real change can be affected, it was decided to put together a questionnaire that would be sent to all superyacht marinas. This includes questions about the bins, Grey & Blackwater facilities, where does the shore power come from as well as where does the municipal waste end up. Do the marinas/refit yards have seabins etc...

So far we have got the questionnaire out to a handful of marinas, and the response has been good. Some of the leading marinas and refit yards have filled out the questionnaire and have indicated that they are willing to look at ways to improve.

The job now is to get more questionnaires out to marinas around the world, start collating the data and looking at working with the marinas to come up with a plan that makes sense for the marina and superyacht crew.

With the data, we can build trust with marinas to see if we can do things better and encourage a more joined-up relationship between superyacht crew and marina’s/refit yards.


If you would like to get involved or hear more about what initiatives are being set up, please visit the website here.


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