A cleaner Sydney Harbour using AI technology

sydney harbour rubbish

Key waterways in Sydney Harbour will be equipped with technologies to help reduce the amount of rubbish polluting the Harbour.

The Smarter, Cleaner Sydney Harbour pilot program, co-funded by the New South Wales Government, is using cutting-edge science and technology to protect one of Australia’s most iconic environments by preventing rubbish from making its way into the Harbour.

The project will help reduce the 3500 cubic metres of litter currently entering Sydney Harbour, equivalent to about 44,000 wheelie bins.

Almost 80 sensors will be fitted to traps on local waterways to alert councils and government authorities in real time when they need emptying, helping them remove litter before it reaches the Harbour.

Cameras will be fitted to bridges along key waterways, including throughout Sydney Olympic Park, and will detect litter in the water using advanced analytics and artificial intelligence, detecting build-up in gross pollutant traps.

The project is expected to help authorities proactively manage waterway health, making maintenance more efficient, timely and cost effective.

AI software will be used to identify the types of litter floating in the water – distinguishing between a chip packet, a bottle and can. The data will help water authorities work out where the litter hot spots are and how to better target litter prevention activities.

If the trial is successful the technology could be rolled out across the Greater Sydney region to be used by all councils who manage stormwater networks.

The Smarter, Cleaner Sydney Harbour pilot is a collaboration between Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Sydney Coastal Council Group Inc, Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, Parramatta River Catchment Group, and is co-funded by the NSW Government.

The pilot received a $545,000 co-contribution from the $47.5 million Smart Places Acceleration Program, part of the NSW Government’s Digital Restart Fund.

For more information, visit: www.nsw.gov.au/

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