Group of the Week: Interstellar Waste Management

I will admit, this is a bit of a crappy post. Who really wants to talk about waste management? Well, apparently I do!

IWM, Inc. – Interstellar Waste Management

In the void of space, you have to make a choice with your waste. Do you void it into the void? Ship it into a nearby sun for incineration? Let it burn up on reentry into a nearby gravity well with atmosphere? Or store it for later? Obviously much of our waste can be recycled and reused in various ways, but some of it simply calls for disposal.

Well, according to Dominion regulations you can’t evacuate your waste into the void, because though space is really big, most likely you are traveling on established routes and other craft may pass through your wake. As such, that is frowned upon. If caught, you will be fined a not insignificant amount. If you fly through someone else’s refuse, you may also be in danger of violating ship cleanliness laws that may get a ship quarantined, adding an inconvenience that could cost a great deal of money in some cases.

Most ships simply don’t have the time or routes that take them near enough easy disposal options. That’s when IWM steps in.

IWM ships travel the main trade routes through all BANCE-accessible systems and can schedule regular pickup of waste at regular intervals. Their huge barges are equipped to gather hundreds of metric tons of material and dispose of it safely through a number of methods. Their highly skilled technicians only slow you down temporarily, do their business, and then send you on your way.

IWM’s current “Garbage Queen” is Liana Barnes, CEO. She and her partner Brosia (short for Ambrosia Carte) handle most of the day to day business at IWM’s HQ, a floating hub high above Jupiter. The station acts as a business office as well as the central hub for all waste traffic in the system. There are similar stations in each BANCE-accessible system (the one for BANCE-11 will be online in about 6 months).

IWM’s fleet of waste barges requires regular maintenance and the corp spares no expense hiring a large staff of talented mechanics to help keep them efficient and flying. These mechanics are well paid and well trained, often spending entire careers with the company.

Each barge is equipped with a special purpose 3D printer that re-uses certain types of solid and liquid waste to automate regular drops of waste for disposal into the sun. Each small “turd missile” is equipped with enough basic controls and avionics to help it take a long, safe dive into the system sun. Any specialized waste is taken to the system’s central hub for disposal through numerous systems designed for disposal of such waste.

IWM has licenses to dispose of most types of waste in one way or another. Most of the mining companies take advantage of their services, as do medical, manufacturing, and other interests across Dominion space.

They have had some issues with vandals hijacking the occasional “turd missile” for use in inappropriate ways. A youth protest reigned crap on the DSF Picard Crater facility a few years ago and is still serving time for their offence. Since then, each missile has included a small explosive charge as a last ditch “incineration” effort in case of emergency.

And there’s always the problem of alien waste, which sometimes comes back to bite in some very literal ways. There are documented cases where biological samples have burned through the toughest materials, injuring or killing crew members as well as damaging company property. And then there are the cases where the DSF has to step in…

Looking for more critters and groups for your Aliens & Asteroids campaign? Check out the rest of the Group of the Week series or the Creature of the Week series!

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