Collect, Tie, Store and Toss

Boating With Brenda – Pusblished in Power Boating Canada Magazine, Volume 24 Number 4

Space is limited on boats and finding a spot for garbage can be a challenging chore that usually ends up as the First Mate’s responsibility—at least to the point where it is ready to be taken ashore. Most of us have a complete garbage centre at home with a bin for compost, garbage, cans, bottles, paper and other. But, there is barely room for a garbage pail on a boat.


Now, the last thing I want to do when boating is deal with or even talk about garbage. The simpler, the better. I’d like to share with you my simple solution to take the effort out of “garbage”.


It is one of many tips in First Mate 101.


grocery-bag-sausageI keep a supply of “sausages” on board.

These are rolled up grocery bags that I collect all winter and tie with a twist tie.

They are about the size of a small sausage and disappear in the bottom of a drawer or cupboard and are excellent for small amounts of garbage.

Tied to a door handle or other convenient place, they become my garbage pail to collect the garbage in the galley, head, bbq, etc.


After a meal, I press the air out of the bag to make it as small as possible, and tie it tight with a knot or twist tie to seal and reduce odours.


Then, I place it in the big green garbage bag. Somewhere on board, you need big green garbage bags—one for garbage and one for recyclables. On our boat, we had some space under the seat across the transom in the cockpit. We put a supply of green bags on the bottom of two plastic bins, and pull the top bag up and over the sides of both containers. They hide nicely under the seat but are easily accessible. Because the smaller bags are tied tight, the odour is sealed inside, so the fish, chicken etc. doesn’t smell—even without a lid. Bottles should be rinsed out so they don’t attract flies or bees.


garbage-bagWhen full or whenever we arrive at a marina on a trip, the garbage is all in one place and ready.

We pull the bags out of the containers, tie and toss them in the appropriate bins at the marina.

Sometimes there are several recycle bins so you do have to sort your recyclables into the right bins.

Then, we pull the next bag up and over the sides and we are ready for the next round.

Garbage is No Problem

Once the garbage procedure is pointed out, family and guests willingly participate. Everyone looks after their own garbage, cans, bottles etc. Even our grandchildren participated at a very early age. No Mess, No Fuss. Garbage is thus never a problem or an unwelcomed chore, and it’s never discussed on our boat. It just happens.

Brenda Dawson

See Also Start Collecting for more tips.

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