Cruise Ship Waste – The issue!

Cruise Ship Waste

Cruise Ships have a problem – All shipping fleets have an issue. What do ships do with the waste generated on board whilst at sea. More people – the bigger the problem!

Sewage, grey water, food waste, sulphides from exhaust gases, bilge water, holds which need cleaning out! Cruise Ship Waste is a big issue due to the amount of people on board. Free food means no accountability to how much is wasted.

”Some 30 million people board cruise ships every year. And while they might return to land with fond memories of umbrella drinks and shuffleboard, they leave a lot at sea. About a billion and a half gallons (5.7 billion liters) of sewage , in fact.”

Quote from Friends of the Earth

The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that single 3,000-person cruise ship pumps 150,000 gallons of sewage—about 10 backyard swimming pools’ worth—into the ocean per week. One vessel in an EPA study produced 74,000 gallons of sewage in a single day.

What can we do about it?

Ports don’t have their own effluent or sewage treatment works. Ships off load food waste, grey water and sewage it requires a fleet of lorries to collect it and take it in land to be processed. This is Hazardous waste which will be charged at a premium. Also the distance travelled by the tankers is a large expense. Cruise ship waste needs to be addressed with a solution that helps the industry.

Flushing out the bilges or cleaning the sulphides out of open exhaust scrubbers is often done in port or the approaches into a port and dumped into the harbour or sea.

Costly considerations

Cruise ship sewage – it’s easier and cheaper to pump it over the side. Ships waste is not something that one of the major cruise liners want to advertise to their customers. To offload cruise ships waste into a port it needs to be completed either when the clients have disembarked or alternatively with an unpleasant odour drifting up to customers.

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To treat waste on board ship makes sense. Rather than pumping cruise ship sewage, food waste and grey water over the side what is the solution: Vision Marine will install a treatment plant that reduces the waste considerably, enabling it to becomes economical to empty it in port.

Ship board system

For land based systems go to our parent company.

Exhaust Scrubbers were introduced when shipping companies had to meet regulations on exhaust gases, because they were causing air pollution. But instead of using fuel with a lower Sulphur content of 0.5% which was expensive, scrubbers were introduced so shipping fleets could use less expensive fuel.

A container ship have been designed for top speeds ranging between 20 and 25 knots per hour, which is between 23 and 28 miles per hour. It will consume around 63,000 gallons of marine fuel per day at that speed.

The thousands of Larger ships will burn around 3 – 4 million barrels a day of high Sulphur, sludge like fuel. The International Marine Organisation are forcing ships to reduce the 3.5% Sulphur content in their fuel to below 0.5%. The change is profound as the costs for fuel will go up massively. Marine Scrubbers come in two types. Closed and open. Most are open and pump the Sulphur into the sea.