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    Watch Your Waste

    HST Trash Room Operations

    Photo By Sean A Elliott | 180920-N-XS424-0016 (20 Sept, 2018) -- A USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Sailors sorts...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Sean Elliott 

    USS Harry S Truman

    NORTH ATLANTIC – When a U.S. Navy ship is underway, there’s no such thing as trash pickup on Tuesday morning. No garbage man picking up huge cans of last week’s unsorted trash. Rather, there is a dedicated team working in a small, hot space day and night.

    The Sailors working in USS Harry S. Truman’s (CVN 75) waste disposal rooms roll up their sleeves and process the waste of more than 5,000 Sailors with as minimal impact to the environment as possible.

    “[We] process and discharge waste overboard in accordance with Navy instruction,” said Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Erica Caligiuri, Harry S. Truman’s waste management leading petty officer. “Properly sorting and delivering trash to the appropriate trash room not only streamlines the waste management process, it also reduces wasted time in equipment operators sorting trash and reduces strain on the equipment.”

    Waste aboard Harry S. Truman is generally grouped into four types: paper, food and cardboard, which is pulpable; wood and rags, which are burnable; plastics and metals.

    Food contaminated materials are pulped and discharged when farther than three nautical miles from shore, while paper, cardboard and rags are incinerated when a ship is farther than 12 nautical miles from shore. Metals and glass may also be thrown overboard at 25 nautical miles. However, all plastics are shredded and melted into compressed solid disks - to reduce volume - and stored until it can be properly disposed of back on shore or sent to supply ships during underway replenishments.

    “Being able to properly dispose of trash aboard the ship is important for the health and comfort of the crew, and fulfilling the mission,” said Caliguiri. “If we lost that ability, it would affect our mission capabilities. Trash would have to be frequently offloaded from the ship reducing the amount of time the ship is able to operate at sea.”

    Sorting trash is an all-hands responsibility that begins the moment a Sailor is about to dispose of a candy wrapper, paper plate, or empty soda can.

    When Sailors bring their trash to the processing rooms, it must be sorted, marked with the type of trash in the bag, the division it belongs to and the division’s phone number - in case someone fails to sort their trash properly.

    “The crew needs to pay attention to the sorting of waste,” said Machinist’s Mate Fireman Erik Jackson, a waste management watch stander. “A few times every day, we’ll get a bag of trash that’s totally mixed with different materials.”

    Caligiuri said putting the wrong waste into the wrong processer can damage the equipment.

    “Two of the most common challenges we face are plastics not being separated between hard and soft, and food making its way off the mess decks and into metal, paper and plastic waste bags,” said Caligiuri. “Both improperly sorted plastics and improperly disposed food waste requires more man hours for watch standers and mechanics to separate and maintain equipment operability.”

    When improperly sorted bags make it to the processors, the responsibility of sorting the trash usually falls on the watch stander.

    “We get dirty, but we don’t like having to dig through the trash,” said Fireman Jonathan Randall, a waste management watch stander. “That’s the reason we rely on the people that make the trash, to be responsible enough to properly separate it.”

    The Harry S. Truman waste management crews, with authorization to throw trash overboard from the commanding officer, adhere to the sanitation and environmental standards the Navy has set.

    “Our watch standers are the backbone of the Truman Waste Management program,” said Caligiuri. “They are the ones working the hardest, ensuring the trash is sorted to minimize wear on the equipment and processed to ensure minimal to no environmental impact from the program.”

    Currently operating in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations, Harry S. Truman will continue to foster cooperation with regional allies and partners, strengthen regional stability, and remain vigilant, agile and dynamic.

    For more information about Truman, visit www.facebook.com/USSTruman or www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.



    Date Taken: 10.13.2018
    Date Posted: 10.13.2018 10:15
    Story ID: 296300

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