City of Melbourne installs floating waste bins

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?”

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Funding announced for $700,000 Litter Innovation Fund applicants

Successful applicants for Round 2 of Sustainability Victoria’s $700,000 Litter Innovation Fund have been announced, including councils, businesses and not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises.

Grants were offered in two rounds and provided up to $20,000 for innovative solutions to litter and illegal dumping that are delivered through a partnership.

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The package comprises of two funding streams, projects in the Yarra River and Port Philip Bay catchment and projects outside of these areas.

Successful applicants include Southern Cross Recycling Group, in partnership with the City of Whittlesea and Maribyrnong, for the Mobile Community Resource Recovery Hub, a purpose-built trailer that provides a collection point for small household items and clothing.

Monash City Council in partnership with Monash University have also been grated funding to assist the culturally and linguistically diverse student education project to reduce illegally dumped waste.

Boroondara, Nillumbik and Yarra City Councils have partnered with Connectsus to fund the Binasys project, which will install ultrasonic level sensor technology to provide a live demand profile of each public litter bin.

In an effort to tackle construction litter, Wydnham City Council, Wolfdene Property Development Group, Point Cook Open Spaces and Beach Patrol will use the funding to liaison with developers, builders and tradies using a pledge system.

EPA Victoria and VicRoads will assist the Macedon Ranges Shire Council to install infrastructure at identified hotspots to increase enforcement and behaviour change and reduce illegal dumping through education campaigns.

A roadside litter campaign will also be launched addressing litter from vehicles along major transport routes due to the funding provided to the Grampians Central West Waste and Resource Recovery Group, VicRoads and local government authorities.

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