Sustainability and recycling within the shipyard industry at the Port of Hirtshals

Usually, the shipyard industry is not the first thing you think of when it comes to recycling and sustainability. But at Hirtshals Yard, it has long been the standard way of things, and today, they sort their waste into 19 different fractions - including fluorescent tubes, batteries, paint, waste oil, plastic, insulation, electronics, concrete, cardboard, and many more.

As for many other companies, one of the incentives to optimize the company's work with their green transition and sustainability was a financial gain in the form of selling iron and metal for recycling. However, Hirtshals Yard made the decision to take their waste management to the next level years ago in order to do good for the environment. This process is continuously adjusted to ensure even better waste management.
According to CEO at Hirtshals Yard, Peter Jørgensen, the company plans to expand their waste sorting and recycling initiatives:
- When you work within the shipyard industry, and your job is to demolish things, it is necessary to be able to sort your waste into many different fractions. Therefore, it is also an area that is constantly being expanded. One of the places where we see a possibility for improvement is, for example, providing better information for the crews on ships. The crews on the ships that cross our paths are often from countries that don't have the same standard within waste sorting as Denmark, and that results in many materials not being recycled as they should."

From 2023, companies like Hirtshals Yard will be imposed the same rules of waste sorting as regular households in Denmark. Consequently, the next step includes improving the sorting of galley waste which, today, is often a mix of food waste, glass, cardboard, metal, plastic, and more being deposited all together.