The City of Melbourne has installed floating waste bins to stop litter washing into the Yarra River at Docklands.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said five Seabins have been installed at Yarra’s Edge Marina, following a successful trial earlier this year.
“Unfortunately an estimated 1.4 billion pieces of rubbish flow into Port Phillip Bay from the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers each year,” Ms Capp said.
“Using Seabins we can collect up to 200 kilograms of rubbish a day. The Seabin units catch cigarette butts and plastic packaging, as well as oil, detergents and micro plastics that can’t be seen by the human eye.”
According to Ms Capp, Seabins work like a pool skimmer and collect litter using an underwater pump.
“The Seabins are emptied twice daily and data is sent to Seabin Foundation’s Pollution Index and Tangaroa Blue to help monitor the impact of debris along Australia’s coastline, as well as to inform City of Melbourne strategies for litter reduction,” Ms Capp said.
“These include street-cleaning, litter traps, water sensitive urban design and storm-water capture.”
The Victorian Government also manages 18 litter traps on the Yarra River, nine of which are located within the City of Melbourne.
City of Melbourne Environment Chair Cathy Oke said food wrappers, cigarette butts, polystyrene, plastic bottles and rubber have all been collected by the Seabins at Docklands.
“Water quality begins with people disposing of rubbish more carefully in our streets and suburbs. The Seabins need to be seen as the last line of defence before waste enters the bay,” Ms Oke said.
“We’re urging Melburnians to recycle as much as possible, say no to single-use plastic and always dispose of rubbish mindfully.”
Seabin Project Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Pete Ceglinski said the ‘smart bins’ have collected an estimated 1,000,000 kilograms of plastic in the last 12 months, from locations in 52 countries.
“The deployment of the Seabin fleet with City Of Melbourne is a critical first step in obtaining our objective of working with local, state and federal governments globally,” he said.
“Our ethos is simple, if we have rubbish bins on land, why not in the water?”