Drones Are Now Cleaning Up Ocean Garbage

We've all heard about ferret-saving drones and drones that deliver pizza. Now comes the news that there are drones out there working hard even as you read this to clean up ocean trash.

The "Waste Shark" can vacuum up to 1,100 pounds of floating trash. Four different Waste Shark prototypes, which look somewhat like floating Roombas, will be cruising the harbor of Rotterdam in the Netherlands over the next few months in order to pick up garbage before it floats too far out to sea.

RanMarine Technology

RanMarine, an "environmental technologies solutions company" in the Netherlands, provided the Port of Rotterdam Authority with the four prototypes, which will cruise the Rotterdam harbor waters through the end of the year.

RanMarine Technology

And if things go well there, hopefully these trash-collecting robots will be launched elsewhere. After all, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch isn't getting any smaller.



“Humans are very good at forgetting where waste truly ends up," Richard Hardiman, the CIO of RanMarine, says on the company website. "If it's not going into some landfill somewhere then odds are it has ended up in a storm-water drain, river or outlet and then off into the ocean never to be seen again; by humans that is. The impact of plastic soup and these huge plastic islands out in the Pacific Ocean and elsewhere cannot be underestimated.”