Toolkit: Marine litter retention, Project participants, Waste management companies

See also: Enlisting fishermen | Fishermen responsibilities | Port authorities

Waste management companies, public or private, are often contracted by port authorities to handle waste and transport it to treatment facilities. To avoid having to set up separate waste management arrangements for marine litter from your project, it is best to incorporate marine litter management within the existing waste management system in the port. Therefore, it is recommended that you discuss with the port authority and the waste management company how marine litter from your project can be dealt with under the existing waste management arrangements.

The role of the waste management company will be to transport the marine litter from the ports to the recycling or disposal facilities. If the waste management company is also responsible for handling waste within the port, the company will also collect the big bags on the quays and bring them to a dedicated storage area or container in the port, awaiting transport to a treatment facility. In this case, if you intend to monitor the litter collected, you will need to make suitable arrangements that allow for monitoring the quantity of marine litter collected and for analysing a sample of the litter, if you also want to monitor origin and composition. The waste management company may help you in this process by weighing the big bags and analysing a sample of the marine litter collected. The section of the Toolkit on Monitoring marine litter provides more details on this activity.

In principle, the waste management company will charge a fee for the additional cost of handling and treating the marine litter collected under your project. However, it is worth discussing with the waste management company whether it is willing to sponsor the project by waiving or reducing this fee. If the waste management company is a public entity – a consortium of local government authorities, for instance – it may fall under a local policy initiative to reduce waste. This could motivate the waste management company to support your project. A private company might also provide waste management services free of charge as part of its corporate social responsibility activities. Publicising the participation of the waste management company as part of your project’s communications activities may help to secure and recognise the waste management company’s contribution to your project.