Garbage means all kinds of victual, domestic and operational wastes generated during the normal operation of a ship and liable to be disposed of on regular basis or periodically. It does not include fresh fish and parts thereof or sewage. It also excludes substances and emissions prohibited or controlled under other Annexes to MARPOL.
Under the revised MARPOL Annex V, discharge of any garbage is now prohibited, except for those under special permissions. The document changes the past presumption that garbage can be ejected directly into the sea, taking into account the type of waste and the vessel’s distance from shore. Nowadays, port reception facilities are to be considered the primary means of discharge, the only exception being food wastes, certain cargo residues, animal carcasses and certain cleaning agents deemed as non-harmful to the marine environment.
- Cargo residues are remnants of any cargo material on board in cargo holds or tanks which remain after unloading procedures and cleaning operations are completed and includes excesses and spillage from loading or unloading.
- Cargo-associated waste means all materials which became waste as a result of use on board a ship for cargo stowage and handling, and includes dunnage, shoring, pallets, lining and packing materials, plywood, paper, cardboard, wire and steel strapping.
- Operational waste means all maintenance waste, cargo associated waste and cargo residues except residues or waste from oil or oily mixture, noxious liquid substances, nonpolluting liquid substances or harmful substances in packaged form.
- Plastics include synthetic ropes, synthetic fishing nets, plastic garbage bags, foam plastics and incinerator ashes from plastic products which may contain toxic or heavy metal residues.