The trash compactor.
Innocent looking bales of trash in a freezer container.
Handling trash at sea onboard this ship takes a little homework. This current trip is 45 days and being that we are in the hot South Pacific we need a plan. On top of that, being a research vessel and being “green”, we take things even further (cough cough). Basically the only thing that goes overboard is ground up food waste. The trash is all collected daily, compacted into bales and rolled up to one of the forward decks were we have a refrigerated shipping container to hold the bales. All cardboard is recycled. All aerosol cans are saved for later disposal. All pop cans are recycled, along with paper. There are also storage areas for chemicals such as cleaners and lube oils, oily rags, used filters and fluorescent tubes but also for chemicals that the science party may bring for their projects. We save all wood, dunnage, pallets etc. as well. So there you have it case you were wondering.
The bales of trash look awfully close to the bales of marijuana you always see the bad guys throwing overboard when being chased by a Coast Guard helicopter. Who knows maybe they just didn’t want to get caught throwing out the garbage. The penalty is probably worse.