As part of Nordic Ports for a Sustainable Future, Port Esbjerg, one of Denmark’s largest commercial ports, wants to lead the field in improved maritime sustainability. With 6000 vessels docking every year and 4,5 million tons of cargo handled, the port authorities faced the elaborate task of providing a more sustainable waste sorting system. EGGS was invited on board to help design the best possible solution.
Designing an award-nominated waste sorting system
Port Esbjerg wanted to create a waste sorting system of an international standard that could function as a benchmark for the sustainable handling of waste for other ports. Their old system had worked well, but occasionally experienced difficulties with waste being incorrectly sorted according to regulations leading to unnecessary cost and pollution.
In close collaboration with the port authorities, EGGS led the innovation process of creating a new holistic waste sorting system that's currently being tested by the port, and which we are proud to announce is nominated for the Danish Ports Sustainability Award.
Gaining a clearer understanding
To get to the root of the problem, we interviewed staff at the docks, recycling station, and incinerator while also observing and documenting their work processes. The most significant insights came to light when talking to the ships' captains and crews. We learnt that the harbour and ships used two different waste sorting systems, which made the process inefficient.
Incompatible ship and on-land waste systems
The ships’ crews proudly showed us their waste sorting systems and how they meticulously divided everything into seven categories, in keeping with MARPOL (The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships). They expressed their frustrations over spending time and energy organizing their waste while at sea, only to be met by a different waste management system on reaching Port Esbjerg, where the containers were labelled differently.
Complying with MARPOL
By tracing the journey of waste from beginning to end and acknowledging the experiences of all personnel involved, we could map everything out and present a clear implementation strategy based on the MARPOL convention.
Avoiding wasting money
When we entered the project, Port Esbjerg had already begun developing a new waste management solution. We reframed the solution into an even more straightforward and cost-effective method based on our insights into the underlying problem.
Becoming a leader in maritime sustainability
Port Esbjerg is currently testing its new system of visually distinct waste sorting containers and supporting app. Both of which follow the same sorting principles used onboard ships. This holistic approach to waste sorting helps consolidate the port's vision of becoming a leader in maritime sustainability. As we mentioned, this has led to it getting nominated for the Danish Ports Sustainability Award. Fingers crossed!
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