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Floating trash cans arrive at Toronto harbor

Jul 18, 2019

Toronto’s waterfront could be a little bit cleaner this summer thanks to three floating trash cans.

Three Seabins have been installed in the waters off the Outer Harbour Marina. The electric-powered devices suck in water from the lake’s surface using an underwater pump and filter out floating garbage, tiny micro-plastics, spilled oil and fuel. Clean water is then pumped back into the lake.

Halifax was the first Canadian city to install Seabins at one of its sailing clubs back in 2017. The Toronto marina saw the technology as a novel solution to a pervasive problem.

“We look at the harbour and we look at the inner harbour as well, and we say there’s got to be ways if you can trap garbage on the land and deal with it, why can’t we trap garbage in the water and deal with it? And that was the philosophy that led to the invention of these Seabins, in fact,” Geoffrey Wilson, CEO of Ports Toronto, told CTV News Channel.

The idea originated back in 2013 by two water-loving Australians who wanted to find a way to clean up the world’s oceans. They launched an online campaign and raised nearly $350,000 to build the automated bins, which work around the clock.

So far, 719 Seabins have been installed at ports around the world and capture an estimated 1,952 kilograms of debris each day.

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