NYMPP: Section 5- Facility Management
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New York Sea Grant's
Marina Pollution Prevention Web Site

Section 5:
Facility Management
- Litter & Recycling

Potential Environmental Impacts

Routine marina and boating activities produce a variety of non-hazardous solid wastes. These include bottles, plastic bags, aluminum cans, coffee cups, six pack rings, disposable diapers, wrapping paper, cigarette filters, and fishing line. This type of debris is unsightly and can harm some living organisms and their habitats after it enters the water. A litter free facility is more attractive to present and potential customers. Diverting reusable materials out of the waste stream through recycling conserves natural resources, and reduces the amount of waste that must be disposed.

Best Management Practices

Place covered trash receptacles in convenient locations away from the water for use by marina patrons.

Provide clearly marked, conveniently located recycling containers for customers and staff to use, particularly for plastic, glass and metal food/beverage containers and other recyclables generated at your facility.

Do not put trash or recycling containers on docks, as waste can easily blow into the water.

If practical, secure trash receptacles at night to prevent "midnight dumping" since marina operators are responsible for the content of dumpsters.

Train employees to pick up stray trash as a daily practice.

Purchase products made with recycled contents to close the recycling loop (i.e., create a market for the materials you recycle). Buy recycled printing and writing paper, towels, tissue, re-refined motor oil and antifreeze.

Educate employees about separation requirements and your recycling program.

Encourage boaters to exchange excess paints, thinners, and varnishes rather than dispose. Provide a bulletin board where boaters can post notices if they have or need a particular substance, or establish a paint and maintenance chemical swap area for customers.

Consider cooperating with other nearby businesses to simplify recycling and reduce costs. Your municipal recycling coordinator may be able to help you find or establish a cooperative business-recycling program.

Use reusable or recyclable boat covers for boat storage. Recycle used plastic boat covers. See "Shrink Wrap," click here.

Require patrons to clean up after their pets. See "Pet Waste," click here.

For information on recycling antifreeze, see "Antifreeze," click here.

For information on recycling batteries, see "Battery Replacement," click here.

Regulatory Issues

Under federal law, marina operators must provide areas to collect solid waste from their customers [33 CFR 151.05, click here].

Regulations covering the disposal and recycling of solid waste vary by state and by municipality. Marina operators should contact their local municipality regarding specific requirements at their facilities.