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From Sardinia the startup that monitors and disposes of waste from yachts

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Waste from yachts? A Sardinian startup monitors and disposes of it
Waste from yachts? A Sardinian startup monitors and disposes of it

Its name is WBS – Waste Boat Service and its goal is to clean the sea from the waste generated on ships, pleasure boats and watercrafts moored in roadsteads or in buoy fields. How? This is possible thanks to a service destined to a high-profile tourism that is dealing with the collection, the transportation, the transshipment, the temporary storage and the disposal of non hazardous urban waste known as “garbage”.


WBS was established in 2016 as an innovative startup company by Paola Obino, Davide Melca and Alessandro Deperu, who bring over 15 years of experience in waste management and in the pleasure boats field. WBS headquarters is in Olbia and the company is operative during the summer season (June-September) in the marine area extending from Marina di Puntaldia to La Maddalena Archipelago, in Sardinia.

“WBS has been fully operational for two years and we are delighted with our company’s growth. It means there is a strong demand for this kind of service and that we have been doing a good job” – noted Davide Melca, sole administrator and founding partner – “Not only are we the only company in Sardinia that can provide this kind of service in line with the current legislation and that is in possession of all licenses and quality assurance certificates – such as ISO 9001 – we are also the only Italian company authorized to collect non-EU food waste in roadsteads. This detail is not insignificant considering the international marine traffic in Italian waters, especially in Sardinia”.

Garbage collection takes place every morning through a system of "organized tours", covering the roadsteads of Marinella, Cugnana, Portisco, Porto Rotondo, Capriccioli, Cala di Volpe, Romazzino, Pevero and Porto Cervo, as well as through an “on-call” service. In the first case, the garbage collection can occur either during our boats daily tour or by booking on the website or through our call center. The on-call service is operative 24/7 and can take place within two hours from the call to us or by appointment.

“During the summer season of 2016 we collected garbage that would otherwise have been illegally discharged on beaches or docks affecting in a negative way the local economy. In fact, when that is the case,  municipalities must deal with the waste recharging the costs to citizens with the TARI bill” – added Paola Obino, environmental engineer, CTO and founding partner – “Last year, the peak of the garbage collection was registered between the 21st and the 23rd of August when we handled almost four tonnes of paper and cardboard, glass, plastic, metal, food waste, edible oils and fats and non hazardous urban waste”.

Legambiente’s report for the year 2016, which contains data on floating waste monitored by Goletta Verde between 2014 and 2015, shows that 95% of garbage consists of plastic and the remaining 5% consists of other waste. However, as of today, no specific statistics on waste stream produced by ships moored in roadsteads – as a matter of fact a significant extra amount – were available. Likewise, information on the average length of the ships’ stay and their garbage management was not available.

Instead, WBS’s internal system of waste traceability enabled us to create the first database to monitor the ship waste stream throughout summer. Unique barcode labels applied on bags allow us to track the waste producers while protecting their privacy. In fact, delivering hazardous waste with an incorrect CER code is a crime against the environment. The WBS system allows to associate each piece of waste with the relevant category and to obtain more information.

“In this way we hope we can successfully contribute to the monitoring of waste generated on ships, to discourage its scattering at sea or on beaches and we hope we will be able to decrease the social costs originated by campaigns for the recovery of abandoned waste” – concluded Alessandro Deperu, head of Logistics at sea and founding partner.

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