They are barrels of nuclear waste found in various spots in the oceans around San Andreas. Each barrel can be collected by the player for $23,000, and after all barrels are collected, the player will gain an extra $250,000. The mission to collect the barrels is unlocked upon purchasing the Sonar Collections Dock and completing The Merryweather Heist.
There are 30 barrels in total and they can only be found by using the Submersible that will spawn at the dock (the Kraken in the enhanced version of the game can also be used, provided it has been unlocked). The barrels can be picked up in the sub or the player can alternatively get out and swim to them. Collecting all barrels will roughly take up to two hours if done in one sitting, as the Mini Sub is considerably slow and may become difficult to control over time through frequent crashing, though it is a very sturdy vehicle. Care must be taken not to dive too deep with the sub, otherwise water pressure will crush it (a few of the waste containers are located on the edge of this zone). Collecting the barrels will require circumnavigating the entire island (another reason for doing the mission in one sitting rather than having to return to the last barrel location); note that if Michael's exile from Los Santos is still in effect, piloting the sub near the city will result in warnings and gang members will swarm on land, but as long as Michael doesn't exit the sub or attempt to land, there is no danger. Similarly, sharks pose no danger as it's not necessary to leave the sub to collect the barrels (it is, however, necessary to pick up any other objects spotted).
To find the barrels, the Trackify app is used, though it only tends to show the general direction in which a barrel is located rather than its distance from the sub. When following the signal, the player must be very careful not to ground the sub or collide with underwater cliffs or rocky outcrops.
The $250,000 bonus collected after completing this mission covers the cost of purchasing the dock, making the $690,000 earned from picking up the barrels ($23,000 x 30) pure profit.
Locations for Nuclear Waste
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- An internet news article from Public Liberty Online after the mission Fame or Shame mentions the nuclear waste, in the article its revealed that the nuclear waste was spread into the ocean, after a winter storm that dropped several tanks in the ocean with radioactive trash. Government officials have tried to deny this story.
- If Michael purchases the dock, Trevor or Franklin can still search for waste. The same applies if Franklin or Trevor buys the dock. However, all profits from collecting waste will go to the dock's owner, regardless of which character actually collects the barrels.
- This in an easy way to earn money early on in the game.
- There is a glitch that can occur when entering the sub with the protagonist's phone in landscape mode (for example when reading an email). The Trackify app will load in landscape mode thus making each blip appear to be 90 degrees from where it actually is, and effectively sending the player in circles.