Marine Rescue Ballina Unit volunteers Geoff Hutchinson, Phil Causley and Tony Hensley; and Seabin Chief Operating Officer Mahi Paquette and Business Operations Manager Charles Griffith.
Marine Rescue Ballina Unit volunteers Geoff Hutchinson, Phil Causley and Tony Hensley; and Seabin Chief Operating Officer Mahi Paquette and Business Operations Manager Charles Griffith.

Ballina's dirty old river set for a cleansing

A NEWLY installed Seabin was full in two days after being installed to protect lower Richmond River waterways.

will be cleaner thanks to the installation of a Seabin at the Marine Rescue Ballina Unit pontoon.

The device was installed at the Marine Rescue Ballina Unit pontoon, by the Seabin Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation associated with the Seabin Project, focused on removing plastic waste from oceans and rivers.

Mahi Paquette, COO of the Seabin Foundation said the organisation will provide regular information to the community on the litter captured to raise awareness on the source of marine litter reaching the river.

"Simple methods such as keeping bins closed at all times and protected from wind and animals, and avoiding single-use plastic food containers, coffee lids, utensils and bottles that break into smaller pieces, can help reduce the litter reaching our waterways," she said.

Marine Rescue Ballina Unit Commander Zsolt Mankowsky and Deputy Unit Commander Geoff Shepherd were pleased to get the unit involved.

"We were utterly amazed to find the Seabin full of debris just two days after its installation," Mr Mankowsky said.

"Our unit volunteers are passionate about the health of our beautiful waterways, and we are delighted to be doing our part by providing access to the pontoon three days a week for the Seabin team, and in helping to clear debris," he added.

 

Plastics caught in the debris trap at Marine Rescue Ballina Unit's Seabin.
Plastics caught in the debris trap at Marine Rescue Ballina Unit's Seabin.

 

A Seabin is a device similar to the combination of a rubbish bin and pool skimmer.

It filters 25,000 litres of water per hour and works 24/7, collecting on average 3.9 kilos of marine rubbish per day including micro plastics down to 2mm small.

Water is sucked in from the surface and passes through a catch bag inside the Seabin, with a submersible water pump.

The water is then pumped back into the marina leaving litter and debris trapped in the catch bag.

The initiative has been made possible through a Community Litter grant from the NSW EPA, with support from Marine Rescue Ballina Unit, the Ballina Fishermen's Co-op and Ballina Shire Council.


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