Proceedings Summer 2014
Modern cruise ships are more than just foating hotels, these
vessels are small cities incorporating every aspect of public
works. As such, waste accumulates from food, recyclable
materials, oil, chemicals, batteries, and water.
Each vessel must deal with this continual cycle of creating,
collecting, and processing wastes. Food waste and recyclable
materials must be stored in lockers and processed in garbage
rooms; hazardous garbage like chemicals for photo process-
ing, dry cleaning, and batteries must be stored in protected
lockers; oily wastes from machinery spaces must be stored
in tanks and fltered; and used water must be stored and
appropriately fltered prior to overboard discharge.
The Waste Stream
A material's life cycle on a ship is called a "waste stream,"
which refers to waste that is created, processed, and then
eventually discharged from the vessel. Examiners refer to
this as "cradle to grave," and categorize this waste into fve
• gray water (the water associated with sink and shower
• black water (sewage).
Each Coast Guard foreign passenger vessel examination
includes a waste stream audit, where the examiner ran-
domly audits the vessel's waste management operations to
ensure they meet federal and international regulations.
All waste stream systems must follow fundamental pro-
cesses that include a combination of administrative account-
ability, machinery and equipment verifcation, operational
practices, and crew training. Examiners work with an engi-
neering offcer or an environmental offcer — whoever is
responsible for the examined system.
Inspections & Exams
Foreign Passenger Vessel
The environmental survey.
by LTJG DiMitrios Wiener
U.S. Coast Guard Sector Miami
LT MiChaeL Metz
Port State Control Offcer
Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise
Waste stream management for recycling. U.S. Coast Guard photos.
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