Shipping waste

Situated at one of the main shipping lanes of international maritime transport, the shipping industry is one of the major industries in Gibraltar. EWMS deals with a range of shipping related wastes.

Since the introduction of the MARPOL and the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control regulations, the requirements and control of all ships’ waste products are strictly controlled and notified at each and every port the vessel is visiting, requiring waste transfer notes from each port at which waste is offloaded and discharged.

Shipping wastes vary, however, at EWMS we cater for the following types of wastes from all types of maritime vessels visiting Gibraltar:


  • Hydrocarbon sludge and residues
  • Oil and grease contaminated materials
  • Pharmaceuticals and clinical waste
  • General refuse
  • Chemicals
  • Acids and alkalis
  • Additives
  • Paints
  • Solvents
  • Metal salts


Detailed waste transfer notes and destruction certificates are issued for each and every waste collected by EWMS, detailing the ship’s name, dates, waste types and quantities.

Oil spill incidents

Due to the high concentration of ship traffic in the Straits of Gibraltar and the extreme currents and weather experienced in winter in the Straits, the risk of shipping accidents is ever-present.

In our very recent history there have been various incidents in which ships have collided and sunk in Gibraltar (British territorial) waters and in our neighbouring port of Algeciras (Spain). In these incidents there have been spills of fuel oil which has resulted in the shorelines of Gibraltar being contaminated with oil.

The Emergency Action Plan is headed by the Gibraltar Port Department along with Brightside Services Limited; the plan provides for containment and cleanup of spilt oil and oil-contaminated materials associated with the spill.

The safe disposal of this oil-contaminated material is transferred to EWMS, whose task is to arrange the logistical process for collection, storage, transportation and safe disposal of these materials on behalf of the Gibraltar Port Authority.