Experimental plastics catcher to remove floating litter from Doel dock

Wednesday 21 08 2019

Port of Antwerp is due to install a passive device for collecting plastics in the Doel dock later this autumn. The design by the Dutch engineering company Allseas is an initial "proof of concept" for cleaning up the water in docks and canals. It is also an important step towards reducing the amount of litter in natural waterways.

Everything to ensure clean docks!


In order to clean up the docks and inland waterways and keep them that way, Port of Antwerp is due to install a passive plastics collector on the water surface. The modular device is made of 75% recycled material and is attached to the quay where it will gather up large and small items of litter in a bin measuring 8 m³.


Operational simplicity


The plastics catcher is a simple mechanical system powered by wind, water and gravity. A narrow floating arm 100 m long and with a depth of 1.5 m guides the floating trash to the mouth of the collection bin, where a filter system separates the large and small items. When the bin is full a truck-mounted crane on the quay lifts up the modular bin and takes away the trash. The various challenges such as maintenance, wave impact and accessibility have all been solved in a single ingenious design.


South-westerly wind with chance of hot spots


In the port of Antwerp – as in the rest of Belgium – the prevailing wind is from the South-West. This means that certain locations within the port become hot spots for floating trash, which is why the most northerly corner of the Doel dock has been chosen as the trial location for the plastics catcher. Furthermore this location is difficult for the traditional Condor clean-up barge to reach. With the new solution cleaning will be much more efficient and risk-free. The plastic collected will be recycled.