First NI Seabin installed in Bangor

Tuesday 20th November 2018

First Seabin installed in NI Waters

Image of Seabin

A seabin, a floating garbage bin that sucks waste from the water of docks and marinas to remove hazards to marine life, has been installed in Bangor Marina by Ards and North Down Borough Council. The move makes it the first seabin to be installed in Northern Ireland.

To date three seabins have been purchased by the Council with the first being trialled from today (Tuesday 20 November). Post pilot, a further seabin will be installed in Bangor Marina and in Portaferry. If proven successful further seabins will be purchased to bolster the activity.

This project is one of many to be paid for by the Council’s Recycling Community Investment Fund, established from money saved by residents engaging with Ards and North Down Borough Council’s recycling scheme. Over the past four years residents have saved almost £15M in landfill costs through improved recycling engagement.   

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Richard Smart: “Innovation is at the heart of Ards and North Down Borough Council’s waste management and recycling programme, which has the overarching theme of STAND for Sustainability.  One of the Borough’s particular strengths is its natural landscape of sea, loughs and land.

The Council is working on a number of ambitious waterway projects including the Bangor Coastal Masterplan, we also have 115 miles of coastline, which draws tourists from across Northern Ireland and further afield. This initiative will help keep our coasts healthy in the fight against the eight million pieces of plastic that find their way into our oceans daily, making the sea a cleaner and safer place for both residents and local marine wildlife.”

The Recycling Community Investment Fund was established in 2016 as a thank you to residents for their re-cycling efforts and to help promote the fact that ‘recycling plays’. Each year it is being used to fund a variety of projects that directly benefit local communities.

Stephen Addy, Head of Regulatory Services, Ards and North Down Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to get this project up and running. The sooner the bins are in the water the faster the process of removing plastic from our coastlines and oceans can begin. This is just one of a number of exciting projects the council is launching to tackle the well-publicised problem of plastic in our environment. It has been made possible by residents and businesses in the Borough 'reducing, recycling and re-using'.

I would like to thank council officers for their pro-active and progressive 'can do' attitude in taking this project forward. I am very much looking forward to the results of the pilot.”

A seabin is a floating natural fiber rubbish bin that moves up and down with the tide collecting floating rubbish. Water is sucked in from the surface and passes through a catch bag inside the seabin, with a submersible water pump. Water is pumped back into the marina leaving litter and debris trapped in a special catch bag so that it can be disposed of properly.  Seabins can collect up to half a ton of debris each year and have the potential to collect a percentage of oils and pollutants floating on the water surface.

Seabins are the brainchild of two Australian surfers, Pete Ceglinski and Andrew Turton. To date over 200 bins are in currently in operation globally with demand expected to increase during 2018.