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US Navy's waste management controls

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posted on Sep, 27 2004 @ 08:40 PM
A couple weeks ago I was watching on the National Geographic Channel a show about the USS Ronald Reagan. Having served onboard the Midway, I continued to watch, making comments or just plain reminiscing. I got my wife to watch as well (she was taking back by the size of the racks... beds...). Granted, just by size alone, the Midway differs alot from the Reagan, but a carrier is still a carrier, which brings me to my point (and as to why this is in the Education and Media forum)...

The waste management control systems.

On the show, they talked to the chief who was in charge of garbage removal/handling. The Reagan has an incinerator for the burnables (paper/cloth/wood), and a compactor for plastics (compresses them into little hockey puck like frisbee thingies). This is where my memories differ from the show...

On both of the ships I was on (Midway from 1990-1992, Jouett 1992-1994), we had a different system of garbage removal. Chuck everything overboard. Papers had to be very finely shredded, food waste was just tossed (the sharks fed well), and if it was plastic, then put it into bags and punch holes into them so they would sink... we didn't want Green Peace finding our garbage!

Space is VERY limited on ship. Every single square inch has a purpose, and no space goes to waste. We could not store garbage for 4 to 6 months at a time. When in port, there would be a garbage barge along side of us, and that would fill quickly in the few days we were there... on a carrier, with all the offices and personnel (the Midway had 3000+ people, and it was the smallest), imaging all the garbage being collected and stored... waiting for proper disposal. No, it made more sense to dump it over the side.

Now, again, the Midway was different than the Reagan. Maybe Navy regulations have changed in the past 10 years... but then again, maybe not.

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