Skip to main content

Cruise ship waste recycling has begun

Recycling waste from some cruise ships visiting Fremantle is now being recycled on land with plans to extend the program to all cruise ships.
  • 2019
  • Cruise
  • environment
  • Published 15 Apr 2019
Port Environmental Advisor Rebecca James with some recyclables from a cruise ship

Recycling waste from some cruise ships visiting Fremantle Port is no longer going to landfill.

Research by Fremantle Ports showed that all of the waste from cruise ships visiting Fremantle had been going to deep burial and no recycling was occurring.

An initiative to bring relevant parties together has resulted in recyclables on some cruise ships being recycled.

Port Environmental Advisor Rebecca James said Fremantle Ports’ research had found that cruise ships visiting Fremantle had sophisticated waste separation systems on board but had limited opportunity to offload these materials at Australian ports for recycling.

‘To meet Australia’s strict biosecurity requirements, all separated recyclables were combined with other garbage when offloaded and deep buried in compliance with a biosecurity agreement with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources,’ Rebecca said.

‘Fremantle Ports liaised with DAWR to find a recycling solution that would ensure biosecurity risks were managed, while allowing recyclables to be recycled and not end up in landfill in Western Australia.’

In October 2018, Fremantle Ports hosted a workshop with representatives from DAWR, resource management company SUEZ (contracted by the cruise lines to manage their waste), shipping agents and stevedores, to further progress the initiative.

Rebecca said all parties were keen to assist in finding a workable solution and an agreement was reached between the two agencies.

‘Under the new process, material segregated for recycling is inspected by DAWR officers to ensure that it is clean and all biological material has been removed.

‘Since November 2018, SUEZ has been sending approved recyclables from some cruise ships offloading in Fremantle to recycling, rather than them ending up in landfill.

‘Other biosecurity waste continues to go to deep burial.’
Pacific Jewel 1Mar19 1 (1000x667)

Pacific Jewel departing from Fremantle on 1 March 2019

Fremantle Ports communicated a Harbour Master notification to all shipping agents and cruise companies advising of the improved process and also updated its Port Information Guide, for shipping lines and Masters of ships visiting Fremantle.
Pacific Jewel recycling 1Mar19 (1) crop (1000x640)

Some of the recycling from Pacific Jewel on 1 March 2019

Fremantle Ports now plans to share its learnings with other Australian ports to encourage widespread uptake of recycling of ship waste.

‘We are moving towards this occurring for all cruise ships and also investigating providing similar opportunities for recycling of ship waste from other vessel types, beyond cruise ships,’ Rebecca said.

Find out how you can explore the port or get ferry and cruise info...