Machine Intercepts River Trash Before It Reaches the Ocean

November 4, 2019

A tool created by the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit organization that aims to remove plastic trash from the world’s oceans, has begun successfully tackling the debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Now a new tool created by the same organization is working to remove trash from tributary rivers before it can drift into the oceans, Environmental Protection reports.

Called the Interceptor, the solar-powered machine moves with river currents. It consists of floating barriers attached to trash-processing plants that resemble barges and are anchored to riverbeds. The barriers funnel plastic waste into the plant’s mouth. Then a conveyor belt separates the waste from the water, moving the trash up a shuttle that dumps it into containers on a separate barge. When the containers are full, an onboard computer system notifies workers to bring a boat and tow the barge of plastic waste away for recycling.

Many businesses are working to improve their recycling programs to help ensure plastic does not end up in landfills and waterways. Knowing which materials are recyclable and making it convenient for employees to participate are just a few steps a company can follow to make its recycling program more effective.

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