ROTTERDAM _ RanMarine Technology, a 4-year-old Dutch company, has a solution for marina operators for whom floating garbage is an unending pain-in-the-neck. The company has developed the WasteShark, an aquadrone that removes trash and nasty flora from the water.
The WasteShark works round-the-clock, gobbling up garbage floating around marinas and shipyard waters. It also records the water’s temperature, depth and oxygen content with a view to improving water management. Units are now running in pilot projects in the city of Rotterdam and the port of nearby Dordrecht. Commercial projects start soon in South Africa and India.
RanMarine Technology says its drones operate above all in locations where trash is known to collect _ “waste chokeholds” _ created by tides and weather. It does not recommend using them in shipping lanes or other high traffic areas.
The cost of sea litter in the European Union has been estimated at up to €630 million a year _ mostly plastics.
Richard Hardiman, head of the WasteShark project calls himself “an accidental environmentalist.” He says one day he watched 2 men struggling to scoop litter from a harbor. It led him to develop an aqua drone that collects garbage in a basket, is powered by rechargeable batteries and relatively silent.