India's water bodies are dirty. There are no two ways about it. The Ganga might be one of the most sacred icons of the country, but it is also filled with pollution, effluents, human waste and garbage. It might be a holy task to take a dip in the river, but it doesn't exactly feel like it.For years now, the government and civil society have been attempting to carry out measures that will help clean up the river. The current government has dedicated a ministry and an entire project to doing just that, while there have been further efforts to stop industries from releasing their waste into the all-important river. But that still leaves another ubiquitous problem: trash.
Walk by the Ganga, or for that mater any major water body in India, and you'll see thousands of plastic packets, food wrappers, tissues, tin cans and other bits of garbage that combine to make it feel like you're looking at a dump-on-water. And cleaning this up is not an easy task.
Meet the 'Seabin.' This ocean-cleaning technology was built by two Australian surfers who got frustrated at the amount of rubbish they found floating around them. Pete Ceglinski and Andrew Turton designed a prototype of an automated trash can for marina docks that they say could help reduce ocean pollution.
The bin is fixed to a dock with a water-pump. The rim sits at the surface of the water, and the pump sucks water into the bin, pulling in all the oil and garbage into it. A bag within the bin then filters the trash and is then pumped into an oil-water separator, before being returned to the water body.
The duo have built a functioning prototype that they hope to sell to marina docks around the world. The machines don't come cheap: Turton and Ceglinski are currently offering them for an early pledge of $3825, but if they become widespread those costs will inevitably come down.
The seabin is slated to work in places without strong currents, but with much of the garbage on India's rivers collecting around the more languid spots where rivers meander, maybe the seabin can become a riverbin too?