• Marco Bitran: Responsible Waste Disposal on Boating Trips

    Boating trips can be a great way to relax and unwind. However, it’s important to take the proper safety precautions when it comes to disposing of your boat’s waste, whether you’re floating on a lake, river or ocean.

    Bodies of water, including the ocean, contain fragile ecosystems which are highly vulnerable to pollutants that you might leave behind on a boating excursion. These pollutants include garbage, fuel, “gray water” (from sinks and showers), and worst of all, “black water,” a.k.a. sewage. Sewage is full of bacteria, pathogens and other harmful substances that can devastate delicate aquatic ecosystems and spread disease to other humans.

    Although blasting untreated sewage directly into the water used to be a standard practice, things changed after it became known that this practice creates polluted, unsightly water, contaminates fish, and spreads disease. Today, many boats have composting toilets, appliances which are absolutely necessary for lengthy trips without a sewage system.

    Composting toilets harness the power of dehydration to convert human waste into a non-toxic end-product. Actually, these toilets can compost any kind of organic matter, including certain food trash, such as banana peels or sandwich remnants.

    A composting toilet typically consists of two or three chambers, including one for composting, one for sanitizing and one for evaporation. Some composting toilets also have adaptive exhaust systems to eliminate unpleasant odors.

    Another benefit of composting toilets is that they last for up to 80 uses, based on two people using it twice per day. Composting toilets can handle such heavy usage because the waste shrinks as it evaporates.

    Before your next aquatic excursion, make sure your boat is equipped with a composting toilet so that you can help keep our waterways clean.