Waste management


The Port of Barcelona removes and manages waste from its facilities and common areas and guarantees the provision of the ship waste management removal service. Concessions and other services manage their own waste.

International convention to prevent pollution

Waste management by ships and the obligations that derive from ports are regulated by the International Convention to Prevent Pollution from Ships, 1973, amended by the 1978 protocol, (known as the MARPOL 1973 Convention /78). The measures of the Agreement are amended or expanded in the legislation to adapt to the moment.


Waste types

This agreement distinguishes 6 large groups of waste that can be generated on the ship and dedicates an annex to the management of each of these types:

  • Annex I: water with hydrocarbons from the bilge, sewage sludge, used mineral oils and water from washing tanks that have contained petroleum products.
  • Annex II: water from washing tanks that have contained harmful chemical substances.
  • Annex III: packaging waste.
  • Annex IV: sewage from ships, which includes wastewater from drains, WC, sinks, kitchen, etc.
  • Annex V: solid waste, including food remains (except fresh fish), waste from domestic chores, plastics, paper, rags, and waste related to the cargo, such as remains of dunnage and packaging, lashing cables, wedges, strapping, ropes, etc.
  • Annex VI: polluting substances from the atmosphere, encompassing a broad spectrum ranging from asbestos residues (used as a fireproof coating on partitions and doors), polluting gases and particles from engines and residues from the gas washing system.


The MARPOL 73/78 Convention obliges ports to have reception facilities for this waste appropriate to the volume of waste and the number of services to be provided to avoid delays to the ship.

The Port of Barcelona has operators who provide the collection service for this waste and who have a treatment plant in the port itself. The service includes the waste from Annexes I, II, IV and V.

The service is provided every day of the year, at any time of the day and at the request of the vessel itself, by barge or by truck

Waste generated in the port spaces

The Barcelona Port Authority removes and manages the waste generated in its own buildings, port facilities and common spaces, street cleaning, bars and restaurants located within the port, the APB's own activity and occasional cleaning.

The only building whose waste it does not manage are the offices and spaces occupied by the APB on the floors of the Est building of the Barcelona World Trade Centre.


Selective collection

The APB practices selective collection of recoverable fractions of waste from containers located outside for paper, glass and packaging, and from bins and containers located inside the buildings of the APB for paper, packaging, toner and used batteries.