Ship breaking is recycling on a huge scale.
It's the act of methodically stripping and slicing a huge ship bit by bit until there's nothing left.
The process itself can be hazardous both to the workers and the environment. As a result, most ship breaking has moved away from developed countries towards those with less strict environmental laws or protection for workers.
There's a ship breaking operation in Canada only a few hours from the city of Toronto. The city of Port Colborne is home to International Marine Salvage — the only ISO-Certified ship breaking facility in the world.
At this operation, everything removed is reused. Whether it's the steel, winches, chains or old on-board equipment, this company finds a new home for it.
I visited the site twice in 2005.
The first group of photos are from my initial visit. A ship's hull was beached, apparently sliced in half. Huge chunks of metal — recently cut from the hull — sat on the beach, awaiting further breakdown.
The second group are from a later visit, where a 185 metre (600 foot) long hull was at the shore undergoing one of the first stages of breaking: asbestos removal. Initial cuts had been made to the superficial structure and interior equipment had begun to be removed.
- View photo with title: Numbers on Hull
- View photo with title: Ropes to Hull
- View photo with title: Cable Array
- View photo with title: Hoses
- View photo with title: Gas Can
- View photo with title: Flakes of Rust and Shovel
- View photo with title: Bulbs
- View photo with title: Industrial Piping (maybe)
- View photo with title: Knurling?
- View gallery with title: Wychwood TTC Car Barns - Interior photos of streetcar maintenance sheds, lit by skylights above. Includes industrial details and equipment.
- View gallery with title: Toronto Power Generating Station - Interior photos of a hydro-electric power generating station from 1906 beside Niagara Falls. Bright, large spaces with turbines and other old equipment.
- View gallery with title: Bethlehem Steel Mill - An abandoned steel mill on a huge site containing many buildings and industrial equipment. Interior and exterior photos of a wide variety of things used in the process of making steel.