Combined toilet and waste facilities
Combined toilet and waste facilities have been set up in the Foundation´s reserves throughout the archipelago. These units contribute significantly to keeping the archipelago clean. Considerable volumes of waste are collected in them, which can be sorted and largely recycled. Approximately 60,000 aluminium cans, for example, are retrieved from the waste during a normal summer.
New units are built every year, and there are now nearly 200 in the archipelago. There are several different designs to the toilet part of the unit, including conventional outhouses, toilets adapted for use by people with disabilities, and toilets with long-term composting. All human waste is composted such that nutrients are returned to the soil, and this is the least glamorous aspect of being a ranger.
Many of the combined toilet and waste facilities have special round metal containers labelled “För engångsgrillar”, into which disposable barbecues are to be placed. It is totally forbidden to place disposable barbecues in the waste, since it is difficult to see whether the charcoal is fully extinguished, and this has led to many of the units burning down. Disposable barbecues may be a fire risk if they are placed in unsuitable locations, and they can cause rocks to crack when placed directly onto them.
We encourage, therefore, the use of small, portable barbecues that you take home with you afterwards.
The Archipelago Foundation is taking part in a project administered by the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation, in which waste in and around the Baltic Sea is measured. Waste measurement was carried out last summer on Storsand, the most popular beach on Nåttarö. The aim of the project is to identify where the waste comes from and to categorise it, in order to obtain a better overview of waste dumping in and around the Baltic Sea.
60% of all waste in the oceans is plastic, and this is true both of the Baltic Sea and the world’s oceans. Most of the waste in the sea stays there. It is generally assumed that approximately 15% of all ocean-borne waste is washed up onto beaches.
Facilities to empty septic tanks
Facilities to empty septic tanks have been installed at or in association with several of the Foundation´s reserves. The archipelago often lacks the conditions required for large-scale waste-water treatment and sewage treatment. Facilities to empty septic tanks have for this reason been installed, principally on the larger islands and guest harbours. Mobile facilities may be found at other locations.
Clearing the seabed
It’s not just waste on land that must be dealt with. The Foundation has carried out clearance of the seabed at popular natural harbours for several years. Most of the waste collected is from the 1950s and 1960s: toothbrushes, clothes pegs, soap containers and glass bottles are all examples of items that easily slip from one’s fingers. There are, however, also many examples of deliberate dumping.