Disposal of recovered oil and debris following an oil spill at sea can present a real challenge to the spill response team: many technical issues and options are involved. The mainly oil component should be kept separate from the mainly debris component of the waste as far as possible. This not only reduces handling problems, but also provides a better opportunity to wash or aerate the debris to allow it to be classified as nonhazardous. Nonhazardous waste landfill remains a potentially cheap option where regulations allow it. Solidification or stabilization techniques may be useful in the future to convert waste oil and debris to a suitable form for landfill. Reclamation of recovered oil is attractive in principle, particularly for large spills; but the presence of contaminants makes it difficult, in practice, for the oil to be recovered. Incineration is technically feasible and mobile/transportable systems are potentially attractive, provided permits can be obtained. A number of biological methods including land farming appear to have promise. Further development work is needed to determine possible techniques for this application.

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