The River Cleaner

Open source. No copyrights.

The River Cleaner opened in Etne!

A milestone for Rivers.Global, no doubt. Due to weather and other conditions we had to rush things a bit, but had a great opening ceremony in the Etne river on October 5. We threw 46 plastic items in the river, all of them were catched by The River Cleaner!

SINTEF Ocean in Trondheim has in March 2021 concluded that the sketches of The River Cleaner look fine. They advised us to have a down-scaled model built and tested before we build a pilot for a real river in Vietnam or the Philippines. This work has now resulted in the launching of the pilot on September 13, 2021 and tests and opening in the Etne river in early October. It floats just perfect, is extremely stable and can withstand heavy river streams.

Detailed technical specifications and complete drawings, with minor improvements wil be made in 3 different sizes. The plan is to have the first real prototype built in Vietnam or the Philippines in 2022.

As soon as The River Cleaner is proven effective, details on how to build and install it will be presented online for anyone to copy, free of charge. Authorities and organizations in South-America, Africa and Asia may copy and build their own river cleaners. Local ownership assures better sustainability. And less costly and polluting shipping across borders. In this way we can get real progress in the struggle for cleaner oceans.

Natural currents as power.

The River Cleaner uses the river’s current to guide plastics and other debris into a large net, which can easily and swiftly be lifted onto shore and emptied for sorting.

  • The River Cleaner will be simple, produced of materials easily accessible anywhere in the world.
  • The River Cleaner will be solid enough to endure monsoons and heavy currents.
  • The River Cleaner will be efficient, with a scalable net that can hold lots of debris.
  • The River Cleaner will be open source. Drawings, test results, adjustments and improvements will be made accessible for all, free of charge, without copy-rights.

The River Cleaner is located at the river bank, making it easy for a truck with a crane or a mechanical crane on the bank to lift it from the river when it’s full.

Some of the debris can be recycled, some of it can be used to produce new products (water hyacinths, abundant in rivers in South-East Asia, can become furniture and more), some of it ends in an incinerator, preferably with energy recovery.

The first River Cleaner will naturally be the most expensive.  Once we have a prototype that is proven simple, solid and efficient, we can broaden the horizon to other regions and other countries.

Close co-operation with local Authorities and local partners.

We will always focus on a close relationship with the local people and the local Authorities before installing a River Cleaner. They have the necessary expertise on their own river. And as always, we will work to prevent the garbage from even ending up in the river, cf our four ways to a cleaner ocean.

What is needed for The River Cleaner to be effective?

  1. A river with lots of floating plastics.
  2. The river must have a steady stream towards the ocean, even in the dry season.
  3. The river-bank must be able to hold a truck and containers for sorting of the debris.
  4. Some sort of waste management must be in place.

A local partner will assure smooth co-operation between local Authorities, local waste-management company, the garage or wharf that will produce The River Cleaner, the transportation and anchoring of the device, the emptying and sorting processes.

Local Authorities need to document that they have an infrastructure connected to waste management that is OK. The debris collected by the River Cleaner must be handled properly.
Local Authorities is responsible for the maintenance of The River Cleaner. They also need to see to that The River Cleaner is emptied on a regular basis.
Local Authorities must partly contribute economicaly for the cost of producing and installing of The River Cleaner. This assures the local ownership and better maintenance of the River Cleaner.

Your contribution is welcome!

There is a chance now for you to be part of stopping the streams of plastics into our ocean. We hope to see The River Cleaner doing its job 24/7 in polluted rivers world-wide. By lauching the River Cleaner we are for the first time reaching out to people on a broad scale to ask for their support. In addition to private donors, we challenge colleges, companies, foundations, communities, shipping companies and more to join us in the battle for a cleaner ocean. With your help we can prevent tons of plastics from reaching the ocean. Your contribution is highly appreciated. The Board will work hard to have the River Cleaner make a difference in polluted rivers around the globe.

Fighting Plastic in Mekong

The schools are back in business.

The Covid-19 pandemic shut down schools and society in Vietnam until control of the virus was achieved.  Now the schools have reopened, as most of the society. The tourist-industry is the one area that still struggles big time, since no tourists are allowed into Vietnam.

Take a look at the pictures from Tap Ngai Secondary School, where a contest was held in November 2020. The students were to build houses and more of whatever they could find in their local environment.

The statements from students show clearly that the work to change attitudes is highly effective!

Kim Soc Kha 14 years old, at 9 grade in Tap Ngai secondary school “I really feel happy and fantastic to join this activity. It is very useful and meaningful for us to learn about environment protection. Plastic waste is very dangerous for environment because it is taking long time to disposal. It also gets bad impact to human being’s health like cancer. Therefore, if giving advice to my parent, my community I will say everyone should throw waste at the right place where collector can take away and reduce using plastic. Let’s protect environment and it is also protecting ourselves”.

Tran Ngoc Tuyet Nhung, 12-year-old, at 7A2 of Tap Ngai secondary school said “I really like this activity. It helps students learn more about the important of recycle waste and also help us to increase awareness on environment protection, especially protect ocean to avoid bad impacts from plastic and keep ocean clean”

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hoa, 14-year-old, said “As I know that community’s awareness on environment protection, especially using a lot of plastic will create many bad impacts to the earth and ocean. Recycle is one of way to reduce plastic waste throwing out environment. Protect environment is protect the earth’s lung, human being’s health. Therefore, today we must together take action on keeping environment clean”

Womens Groups.

In addition to schools, community groups and women’s groups are important in the project. In Tra Vinh more than 900 women’s groups consisting of almost 20.000 women are part of the project. The slogan “No to single-use plastic” has become a core value in the groups.

Climate change is also an important focus in these groups. Many of the women feel the impact of climate changes in their everyday life, with the rise of sea-level making it difficult to grow rice.

The Mission Alliance Norway is in the front seat of “Fighting Plastic in Mekong”. They have been working in Vietnam since 1996, has a broad network and cooperates with both local and central authorities. Rivers.Global has been invited to be a co-player in the project, and make it more plastic-oriented. So far, Rivers.Global has contributed with 8.000 USD in the project.

Focuses in 2021:

Establishing and functioning 115 CC monitoring group in Tieu Can district, Tra Vinh province, having 1,730 participant this action. These interventions help community to solve their environment problems related to waste management and treatment at household and community level. Many activities conducted such as waste collection in local market, community; planting flower/ tree; CC/DRR/Environment contest for community and local staff. These create greater support from community and locally because it links with national strategy and link with “new rural development plan” of district/province that is “keep community always Green-clean-beauty/landscape”

Behavior change on CC and waste problem for students in primary and secondary school are one of focused points of CC project. Partnership with schools, DOET, we have many meaningful activities to create positive impacts to student how to eliminate waste/plastic waste in school, in community, how to use/do waste recycle, waste classification, etc.

NMAV work with Tra Vinh WU to provide CC knowledge for more than 19.725 women of 914 women groups. There are 77 women clubs on “say no with plastic single used” established under these women groups. It has been created additional value for both NMAV and local on CC project and environment protection “source from Tra Vinh Women report in Oct 2020”.

Plastic pollution is a huge problem in most countries. Here are some articles from South-East Asia, to give you more insight:

Vietnam is the fourth-largest contributor to marine plastic pollution globally.

Mountains of plastic in Cambodia.

Waste management part of Thailand 20-year national strategy.

The Philippines wastes 6,237,653 kg of plastic per day.

Giant plastic ‘berg blocks Indonesian river.