A dutch-non-profit organization, The Ocean Cleanup (TOC), has launched a robot that wants to clean the waterways responsible for 80% of the world’s river waste within the next five years.
The new machine comes off the back of the companies efforts to strengthen its initiative in removing plastics from the oceans.
The idea is an extension of its ocean initiative. Tackling the problem of plastics at sea by simply tracing it back to its source.
The latest innovation is called the “Interceptor” and at its core, it is a straight-forward floating raft powered by solar panels which can scoop up plastic waste floating on the surface of the water, and leads it into a conveyor belt which dumps it in a bin for recycling.
This technology was and showcased in the Netherlands and bolstered the companies reputation as a world leader in engineering solutions to environmental problems.
Currently, the device can be found plucking 30 tons of rubbish from Malaysia’s Klang River every day, where trials have been underway for one of the companies first vessels for the last few months. Before that, it was tested near the mouth of the “Cengkareng drain’s” – a notoriously polluted part of the Angke River near the Java Sea.
The company hope its prototype first-generation device can get to work on 1,000 of the worlds most polluted rivers in the next 5 years. These are responsible for nearly 80% of our oceans rubbish.
How does the Interceptor work?
The prototype design is a result of several refinements to the Ocean Cleanup’s tech. The 525ft test raft has been operating since October last year.
It is powered by a series of solar panels on its outer shell; it then moves along the river bank using a the rivers current to pass waste onto its conveyor.
Once onboard the conveyor belt moves the rubbish onto a platform inside the Interceptor, shuttling it to one of the bins.
Once full, the local team empties the bins, taking them to the shore to be sorted for recycling.
The latest design of the Interceptor promises to be able to remove 50,000 kilograms of plastic wastes every day and carry around 50 cubic meters of waste within its bins before needing to be emptied..