WASTE crew have sent 440 tonnes of rubbish to landfill, while 195 tonnes of metal, including shipping containers, have been sent to scrap metal processors as part of the YM Efficiency clean-up.

It was almost two years ago that 81 containers fell overboard from the YM Efficiency during a wild night off the New South Wales Central Coast.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has since cleaned up the area as part of a project called Operation Recovery.

“Following discharge of the final six containers at Port of Newcastle on 8 May, 63 shipping containers had been processed and the clean-up completed by 10 May,” AMSA said in a statement.

“Waste crew sent 440 tonnes of rubbish to landfill, while 195 tonnes, including the shipping containers, were sent to scrap metal processors.”


In addition, some 67 tonnes of tyres were recycled and 18 tonnes of liquid waste collected for safe disposal.

The final clean-up follows 34 days of offshore operations, including 7.5 days of weather delays, to safely remove the identified containers lost overboard.

Offshore operator, Ardent Oceania, led the $17m project together with offshore construction vessel, MV Pride, Helix Energy Solutions and AVCON Projects.

AMSA chief executive, Mick Kinley, thanked seafarers from both Australia and overseas who completed the work away from their homes and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re also grateful to the Newcastle-Port Stephens community for their support and patience in the lead up to and during the operations,” Mr Kinley said.

Transport for NSW is to manage the shoreline response to any reports of debris washing up from the 13 containers which have so far eluded sonar and other detection methods. Any sightings of debris can be phoned to 13 12 36 or emailed to