This solar-powered boat is made to clean the plastic waste in rivers

The floating device consists of an Interceptor vessel and a trash-collecting barrier that floats on the river.
The Interceptor

It was back in 2012 when Dutch inventor Boyan Slat introduced The Ocean Cleanup, which is now a world-famous project for cleaning the oceans. Seven years later, he presented a new floating device with which he wants to clean the world’s rivers. The idea is to start with the most polluted rivers, which combined are said to be responsible for 80% of the plastic pollution in oceans.

Developed in partnership with Konecranes, the vessel — called Interceptor — catches garbage in the river before it reaches the sea and/or the ocean. The environmentally friendly boat is 100% solar-powered with built-in lithium-ion batteries that enable it to operate day and night without any noise or exhaust fumes.

The solution consists of an Interceptor vessel and a barrier that floats on the river. The barrier catches the trash and leads it to the opening of the vessel, which is equipped with a conveyor belt that continuously extracts the debris from the water and delivers the waste to the shuttle.

A shuttle automatically distributes the debris across six dumpsters. They can store 50 cubic meters of waste at a time, then empty them. When the Interceptor is almost full, it sends an automatic message to the local operators, and the containers are emptied on the river bank. The waste is then sent to local waste treatment facilities.

In its regular operation, the Interceptor captures 50,000 kg of garbage a day, though that figure can go up to 100,000 kg of garbage per day under optimized conditions.

As of November 2019, four Interceptors have now been built so far. Two systems are already operational in Jakarta (Indonesia) and Klang (Malaysia). A third system goes to Can Tho in the Mekong Delta (Vietnam) and the fourth to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

According to The Ocean Cleanup, the new system for rivers is not harmful to animals. Together with partners, it would like to solve the plastic problem in 1000 most polluting rivers all over the world, by 2025.

Takeaway

After launching a vehicle to collect garbage in oceans, the Ocean Cleanup company has turned its attention to rivers — with an all-new, state-of-the-art river vessel called the Interceptor. Designed in partnership with Konecranes, the vessel aims to extract plastic from rivers before it even makes its way into the world's oceans.

The solution consists of an Interceptor vessel and a barrier that floats on the river. The barrier catches the trash and leads it to the opening of the vessel, which is equipped with a conveyor belt that continuously extracts the debris from the water and delivers the waste to the shuttle.

In its regular operation, the Interceptor captures 50,000 kg of garbage a day, though that figure can go up to 100,000 kg of garbage per day under optimized conditions.
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Action point

FOR PUBLIC OFFICIALS:
If you live in a municipality next to a river that could benefit from garbage collection, consider contacting Ocean Cleanup and ask them for help. Additionally, since this effort will likely come with a cost, see if you can contact local companies to pitch in to help bring this vessel to your community. At the end of the day, this could be a win-win proposition for everyone involved, including individuals proposing and eventually helping implement such river-cleaning initiatives.

FOR BUSINESSES:
If your company operates in municipalities next to a river that could benefit from a garbage collection, consider contacting Ocean Cleanup and ask them for help. Then, see if you can somehow monetize the idea by engaging the local government and if needed — the wider community to pitch in to help bring this vessel to the community. At the end of the day, this could be a win-win proposition for everyone involved, including companies proposing and eventually helping implement such river-cleaning initiatives.