Asia's first floating rubbish bin placed at Republic of Singapore Yacht Club

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Trash and oil are pulled into the Seabin via its electric pump. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Trash and oil are pulled into the Seabin via its electric pump. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE- A floating rubbish bin that can collect the ocean's trash is now bobbing in the waters of Singapore.

Wartsila Corporation, a Global Pilot Partner of the Seabin Project since 2017, is now donating Seabins to different marinas around the world. Asia's first Seabin was installed at the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club on Tuesday (April 10).

The Seabin is now in about 15 countries all over the world, including Finland and the US. The first Seabin was installed in October 2017 in England.

The Republic of Singapore Yacht Club in the West Coast was chosen because of the calm environment and manpower resources available.

"Singapore is a leader in environmental sustainability, with a blueprint and a vision for a liveable and sustainable country. Early on, the correlation between a healthy environment and the quality of life was recognised here - which is why it's no surprise that this 'garden city' is the first in Asia to install a Seabin," said Seabin Project's chief executive Pete Ceglinski, 39.

The Seabin, 50cm in diameter and 50cm tall, weighs about 47kg and can be placed in waters at marinas, docks, yacht clubs and commercial ports.

Water is sucked from the surface and passes through a catch bag inside the Seabin, with a submersible water pump that can use clean energy sources like solar power, depending on the location and available technology. Water is then pumped back into the marina, leaving litter and debris trapped in the catch bag.

The Seabin, which costs about $5,000, can also collect oils and pollutants floating on the water surface.

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The bin can catch about 1.5kg of debris and litter a day, depending on weather and debris volume and can also catch microplastics that are 2mm in size. The catch bag can hold up to 20kg of debris and needs to be emptied twice a day. The bin also needs to be regularly checked and cleaned at least once a month.

The Seabin is positioned where the wind and the current can push the debris into it.

Wartsila is looking into having two other Seabins installed in Singapore.

Wartsila Singapore managing director Mervin Ong, 63, said: "Our purpose is to enable sustainable societies with smart technology. This includes cooperating with like-minded individuals and companies, like Pete Ceglinski and the Seabin Project, to develop and implement new environmental technology."

Mr Ceglinski said: "This is the start of something big and the start of a cleaner future."

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