The pilot project is part of a global effort to stem the flow of 80% of plastics into the world’s oceans
Marina del Rey, CA — Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn announced today a plan to partner with innovative tech nonprofit The Ocean Cleanup to place a new trash harvesting device in Ballona Creek.
“The buildup of plastics in our oceans is one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “We are announcing a plan to install a system that will not only stop trash flowing from Ballona Creek into the Santa Monica Bay, but will be part of a global project to prevent the flow of plastic pollution into our world’s oceans.”
Credit: The Ocean Cleanup
The device is called the InterceptorTM, a solar-powered trash removal system that employs a floating barrier or barriers to concentrate and direct floating debris onto a conveyor belt that extracts the debris. The Ocean Cleanup will design an InterceptorTM to specifically meet the conditions in Ballona Creek.
Recognizing that the best solution is to control trash at the source, the InterceptorTM will be a complement to efforts by watershed cities to control trash at the source.
“The County of Los Angeles seeks to provide safe, clean water for all,” said Mark Pestrella, Director of Los Angeles County Public Works. “We are focused on preventing litter, trash and other pollutants from entering our local rivers, lakes, streams and the ocean. The Interceptor would be the first of its kind deployed in the U.S., Canada, Central and South America, using solar-powered engineering to harvest floating waste and debris from within a river system.”
Credit: The Ocean Cleanup
Ballona Creek will be the sixth location in which an InterceptorTM is deployed. Two systems are operational in Jakarta, Indonesia and Klang, Malaysia. Systems are also planned for Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, and Thailand.
“Millions of tons of plastic waste finds its way into our oceans every year, so it’s clear that, in addition to solving the legacy problem in the ocean gyres, we also need to address the issue of ocean plastic pollution at the source. The Interceptor is currently the only workable, scalable solution to this global problem,” said Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. “We are delighted to be partnering with LA County, which shows this tool is a supplement not a replacement for good waste infrastructure or any other prevention activity. Yet, out of all the possible things we could do, this to me seems the best way rapidly to reduce the amount of plastic flowing into our oceans”.
The 24-month pilot project will allow the County and The Ocean Cleanup to test the technology and evaluate its efficacy alongside the County’s comprehensive portfolio of institutional and structural solutions. Based on the results, the County will have the option of acquiring the system for free.
The Ocean Cleanup will be responsible for manufacturing and assembling the system and for installation in partnership with the LA County Public Works. Public Works will be responsible for operations, including the collection and recycling of waste. The Ocean Cleanup will provide technical advice and support throughout, including data generation. The target date for deployment is the fall of 2020.