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Global Solution

Plastic waste collector

DEME innovates to fight pollution

In partnership with the University of Antwerp and the Institute for Nature and Forest Management, DEME has devised an innovative solution to reduce the pollution of our waterways. Now tested for a year, this solution is based on the collection of waste from the water. The device consists of a mobile system and a fixed installation, which includes a smart detection system, a workboat capable of autonomous navigation, and a charging station. Floating waste is detected by artificial intelligence that is linked to cameras. An autonomous workboat, the ‘Marine Litter Hunter’, intercepts the waste and pushes it towards a collection pontoon, where a crane (remotely controlled in virtual reality by an operator) transloads it into a container. Once the container is full, the workboat autonomously transports the waste to an unloading station. The “Marine Litter Hunter” navigates without emitting CO2, and the vessel independently docks at the docking station for charging. DEME is also testing a fixed installation for collecting floating waste. The latter consists of a V-shaped trap with a collection pontoon. Luc Vandenbulcke, CEO of DEME: “When carrying out our activities around the world, we are confronted every day with waste in rivers and oceans. For DEC, the environmental subsidiary of DEME specializing in, among other things, soil, sludge and water decontamination, deploying our expertise with a view to actively working together on solutions to the global waste problem is a step that makes sense. By collecting plastic waste from rivers, we can prevent it ending up in our seas and oceans. As a pioneering company, we continue to invest in technologies and in innovations in order to provide solutions to global challenges. By collaborating with the Vlaamse Waterweg (Flemish Waterway), we are able to thoroughly test the operation of the plastic waste collector, as well as to examine whether we could use the technology on a larger scale in rivers, deltas and ports.”