A new system currently being tested by Norway’s Environmental Agency in the Akers river in Oslo seeks to tackle waste pollution issues in rivers. Pollution is main area of concern for rivers. Key pollution sources for rivers are domestic wastes from households and sewage, as well as disposal of plastic bags, plastic objects and solid wastes.
The system, dubbed Trash Trawl, is produced by the Norwegian company SpillTech, specializing in oil spill recovery equipment and systems to collect waste in ports.
Many rivers are becoming increasingly polluted, so it is important to collect as much waste as possible and that is the reason why we have developed a new waste collector system,
…says Trond Lindheim, managing director of SpillTech.
As explained, the system works on the high-speed boom principle that is common in oil spill recovery.
The system uses a boom system that feeds floating garbage to a meshed net, which is emptied two to four times on a weekly basis.
An important aspect of the development work has been to ensure that the equipment is easy to handle, and yet robust enough to withstand adverse river conditions, according to Lindheim.
The company is currently in talks with local government agencies and international organisations to explore further applications of the new system.
Maritime industry loses an estimated €235 million a year from marine plastic debris, while the fishing sector loses close to €138 million per year from plastic pollution, according to a WWF report released earlier in 2019. The report reveals that maritime trade and fisheries are responsible for 20% of plastics at sea.