James Dyson, who is perhaps best-known for his series of expensive and intricately-designed vacuum cleaners, is now hoping to bring some of that same “cyclone” technology to a vehicle that would trawl rivers for garbage.
The M.V. Recyclone barge, which is still in the concept phase, would use large nets to trap plastic and other garbage floating on a river’s surface. Hydraulic winches would wind these nets in and out. A suction system, borrowing that tech from the household vacuum, would then pull in the waste and shred it. Different grades of plastic would then be separated by a cyclone system, which would make the end result easier to process.
In an email with Fast Company , Dyson said: "By skimming a highly concentrated flow of larger sized plastics in polluted rivers, the M.V. Recyclone would effectively mine a major source of the pollution before it reached the sea.”
Dyson’s concept is that if governments and municipalities do better work in cleaning their rivers, they will prevent a majority of the trash escaping out into the greater ocean, where it tends to form into vast patches of garbage, like the Great Pacific garbage patch . The Recyclone wouldn’t work on the oceans itself — at least based on its current design — but that may not matter if trash can be captured before ever hitting ocean waves.
Dyson recognizes that his concept needs a great deal of work, and his history proves he’s willing to slog through all the technical details — he’s famous for iterating through 5,127 prototypes of his first vacuum cleaner — so it will be exciting to see what he comes up with in the coming years. Whatever that end result might be, you can bet it will both work and look great — and cost accordingly.
The M.V. Recyclone barge, which is still in the concept phase, would use large nets to trap plastic and other garbage floating on a river’s surface. A suction system, borrowing that tech from the household vacuum, would then pull in the waste and shred it.