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Australia wants to recycle trash from ships

Staff Writer |
A pilot program has started at the Port of Hay Point to investigate the feasibility of recycling garbage from international ships.

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The pilot is being conducted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (Agriculture), North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) and Mackay Regional Council.

Ships' crews currently separate recyclable garbage on board, but have limited opportunity to offload these materials at Australian ports for recycling.

At the moment, any garbage that is separated on board is combined when offloaded in Australian ports and has to undergo treatment by autoclave or deep-burial to meet Australia’s biosecurity requirements.

While these treatments address any biosecurity risk, the opportunity for recycling is lost and creates a disincentive for ships to discharge garbage in Australian ports.

Ships can participate in the pilot program as part of their routine operations on arrival at port.

The recyclables that will be accepted during the pilot are glass, aluminium and steel cans and hard plastic containers.

These materials will be inspected by Agriculture’s biosecurity officers on board the ship and be released from biosecurity control provided they are free from biosecurity risks, such as animal or plant material.

The Port of Hay Point has been selected as one of two initial pilot sites for the program to operate through to the end of May, 2018. The other site is the Port of Brisbane.

It is hoped that, through this pilot program, lessons will be learned on what opportunities and obstacles exist for recycling of ships garbage in all Australian ports.

Ships that would like to participate in the pilot will have the opportunity to indicate their interest prior to arrival at port.

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