Thursday, January 29, 2015

FTV Managing Food Waste at Sea

The TS Kennedy carries a huge group of cadets and crew, each of whom eat three meals a day! The extra food left over on our plates has a long journey before it is ready to be sent over the side of the vessel. The waste food is collected in large buckets that are stored out on deck covered throughout the day. On a normal day there are anywhere from 5 to 8 barrels of food stuff from the daily meals.

The ship has a very expensive and unusual device to process the extra food stuffs before it can be sent over the side. We use what is called a food grinder to prepare the food for unloading. The grinder is a large machine with a funnel on top of it where you pour the food waste into. The funnel feeds the food down through a series of blades to chop up the food into tiny pieces.The food grinder is only operated once a day and it must be done under the supervision of the Chief Mate, who must carefully log the daily dumping.

The size of the pieces is actually regulated by MARPOL (Maritime Pollution Regulating Body ) which regulates the dumping of waste over board.

Once the food pieces are ground they are swirled around in water and then shot through a pipe that goes over the side. The ship is only allowed to dump the food waste when the ship is more than 3 miles off the coast or as determined by the particular countries shore we are operating in.

All of the non food trash that is produced is first sent to the compactor room. Here there is a team of cadets that will sort the trash into different bags of plastic goods, and paper goods, The bags holding the paper and plastic goods will be sent to the ships trash storage container, where it is compacted to allow for more trash to be stowed than if it was not compacted. Upon arriving in a port we will unload the trash and start all over again.

This shows the unloading of our trash in St.Thomas.

Think about your trash habits

Marine debris is trash that is found in or by the sea. Any object foreign to the marine ecosystem can be considered marine debris but the term is usually reserved for human-created trash.

People can diminish the beauty and safety of the beaches and coasts if they irresponsibly dispose of litter, abandon boats, or lose recreational or commercial fishing gear in the environment. Marine debris is a serious problem, but it is preventable.

Turning the Tide on Trash  Explore the serious impacts that marine debris can have on wildlife, the environment, our well being, and our economy.

This game is the ultimate trash chase and pickup challenge. Try to dispose of the marine debris correctly and help clean up the environment. 

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