BGIS is trialling innovative new Seabin technology at the Garden Island naval base in Sydney in order to reduce marine litter.
BGIS delivers integrated facilities management services to several ADF bases that neighbour major domestic and global waterways and oceans, where debris such as micro plastics, cigarette butts and oils are impacting significantly on marine ecosystems and disrupting operations.
“Floating waste around the Boat Pound and Naval Ship dock yard areas at Garden Island was particularly concerning, as it can clog up propellers,” Jack Panada, BGIS’ EMOS Manager at Garden Island, said. “Frustratingly, the litter couldn’t be collected due to potential safety risks and not having suitable cleaning equipment available. So, we decided to look for an efficient, cost-effective and innovative solution to clean the waterways around our client’s bases.”
Seabins – an Australian invention described as ‘rubbish bins for water’ – provided the ideal answer. The Seabin skims the water surface catching floating litter with a submersible water pump, while a specialised pad absorbs oil, fuel, detergent and other pollutants. A single bin can hold up to four kg of debris per day, and over the course of one year can capture 90,000 plastic bags, 35,700 disposable cups, 50,000 plastic bottles and 120,000 plastic utensils – all while costing less than a one dollar a day to run.
“Sustainability is a core focus of our business and we take our environmental stewardship obligations very seriously,” Matt Smith, BGIS’ Regional Business Manager – Defence, said. “While waterways are not in BGIS’ scope for integrated facilities management, we felt this was the socially responsible thing to do. Further to reducing pollution and contamination, the implementation of this technology will also minimise the manual effort required by marine workers to clean up the areas.”
“When it comes to innovation, co-design and collaboration is essential,” Matt continued. “We’ve partnered with Veolia – an environmental services company and fellow service provider to the Department of Defence – to deliver this initiative. Our client is committed to taking care of the land on which they operate, which makes environmental and sustainability undertakings such as this critical.”
The trial will extend into 2020, with additional Seabins scheduled for installation across BGIS’ Defence portfolio.
Note: Brad Robbins is the Director of Defence at BGIS.