The Seabin Project is working toward keeping waterways clean by developing a trash bin that can catch floating debris, oil, fuel and detergents.
The automated rubbish bin has been created for use in waters of marinas, ports and yacht clubs.
"We start close to the source of the problem in a controlled environment," The Seabin Project stated on its website.
"The marinas, ports and yacht clubs are the perfect place to start helping [to] clean our oceans. There are no huge open ocean swells or storms inside the marinas, its [sic] a relatively controlled environment," the website stated.
While the Seabins are still in a testing phase, the project aims to have the Seabins located in various marinas, ports and yacht clubs in the future, accord to Pete Ceglinski, managing director of the Seabin Project. The Seabins are not designed for open oceans or beaches.
"The Seabin itself is very efficient," Ceglinski said. "They sit in the water at the marinas, and we put them in a strategic location where the trash and rubbish go straight to it [the Seabin]."
The Seabins work by being placed at the water's surface and is plumbed into a shore-based water pump located on a dock. Water gets sucked into the Seabin, bringing floating debris and liquids to it. Once the debris is inside the Seabin, the water flows out through the bottom of the bin and up to the pump.
A natural fiber catch bag is used to collect the floating debris. When near full capacity, a marina worker would replace the Seabin's catch bag. The Seabin would still work even if the bag is full with the flow of the water pulling the debris against the Seabin until it gets scooped up.
"The Seabin needs to get checked twice a day: once in the morning and once in the afternoon," Ceglinski said.
He added that on average the catch bag would need to be changed once per day or once every two days.
"The collected debris is then disposed of responsibly, the catch bag cleaned and now it is ready to swap again for the full one in the still operating Seabin," the project's website said.
How much debris the Seabin collects depends on many factors including the time of year, the weather, how strong the wind is and the direction of the wind.
"If it rains for a couple of days, you will get an overflow from the streets into the ocean and marinas, getting massive amounts of trash. If it is relatively calm weather, you get this steady little trickle of trash coming in," Ceglinski said.
Ceglinski estimates that each Seabin can collect about half a ton of trash per year.
The Seabin Project is working toward production of the trash bins by the middle to end of 2016.