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Giant Vacuum Cleans Up Beach

College project removes plastic waste from sand

May 10, 2019

Cleaning professionals find multiple uses for their vacuums, from keeping carpeting clean, to removing dust from curtains and baseboards with the help of attachments. Twelve engineering students from the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada created a 12-foot tall vacuum with a unique use—removing plastic waste from beaches, Hawaii News Now reports.

The vacuum, called Hoola One, just finished a two-week test run on Kamilo Point beach on the Big Island of Hawaii, during which it collected 230 pounds of plastic. The vacuum’s engineers say it’s capable of cleaning three gallons of sand a minute.

The students raised US$50,000 through crowdfunding to create the vacuum as a school project. They gave the machine to the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, which will use the vacuum to eliminate plastic from beaches on Maui, Kauai, and Oahu when it is finished on the Big Island.

Three of the engineers who recently graduated are working on the project full-time to create a downsized version of the vacuum that can be used on beaches around the world.

Your vacuum may not be set up to clean the beach, but you can choose the right features and setting to maximize cleaning at your facility. CMM gives a rundown on available vacuum features such as corded/cordless, quiet, lightweight, allergen-reduction, and motor life. Once you’ve picked your features, follow these steps to prep your vacuum for the job at hand:

  • Check that the bag is new or has enough room for extended cleaning
  • Adjust for multiple floor surfaces using the height adjustment knob
  • Inspect filters for blockage
  • Look for damaged or tangled debris on the brushroll and belt
  • Make sure all hoses and wands are properly secured and attachment tools are available.

 

 

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