The overarching goal of the project is to develop an effective solution for rivers by developing a low cost device. We aim to incentivize the collection of waste which pose a treat to not only the human groups dependent on the water bodies but also the respective aquatic ecosystems.

Problem Statement

Design an efficient garbage collection system for rivers.

SDG in Focus

Goal 14: Life below water

The life below water goal ensures that the ocean and other aquatic resources are conserved for sustainable use for future generations. Due to the alarming rate at which climate change is occurring, these resources are depleting at a rate faster than which they can be replenished. As a result, it is possible these scarce and essential resources could disappear completely for future generations. 


Key considerations for the design include, but are not limited to:

  1. Powerful motor to create a vortex that can help direct garbage into the riverbin,
  2. Stability in the river and maintain an upright position to prevent the release of collected garbage back into the river,
  3. Suitable net material that is marine-grade and durable in order to hold large volumes of pollutants,
  4. Suitable propeller in order to push water through and ensure there is no harm to aquatic organisms;

Solution Brainstorming

The images show the first prototype of the sustainable. It consists of a large bin that has a ring made of a floating material, initial iteration was using Styrofoam. The sustainabin would then contain two mini water wheel structures. These structures would then use tidal power to generate electricity and power the sustainabin. Initial plans also included adding a solar power structure that would rest on top of the floating material; this was discarded. The net would be placed on the inside and lie over an opening which would allow water to flow back into the bin. This iteration was ultimately discarded due to the following reasons:

  1. Pollutants like plastic would remain floating on top and not fall into the net as water would flow into the bin from the opening
  2. There is no way for garbage to be directed into the bin as movements of the sustainabin create waves parallel to the opening of the bin
  3. The circuitry was far too complicated in order to utilise tidal power to power the bin entirely

Final Solution

The floats and weights aim to keep the bin in place due to the anti-torque caused by the vortex. The motor stays above the water level to prevent damage and employs a shaft connecting it to the propellers underneath to pull water in. The metal net aims to collect waste ranging from small to middle sized objects such as microplastics and larger plastic waste like water bottles, empty packets etc. the bucket provides a volume of … cm3 and can be emptied on a daily basis to epitomize waste collection. When deployed correctly the negative impact of disturbance on aquatic life can be eliminated correctly particularly due to the inverse relationship between waste materials and marine life. 

Image Gallery

Project Contributors

Dipra Baid | Garvikaa Aggarwal | Madhav Menon

View detailed project documentation