Simple and elegant river waste collection

SpillTech has created the TrashTrawl, which collects floating waste in rivers before it reaches the ocean.


Cutting down on single-use plastic and increasing recycling rates are important measures to combat ocean waste. But putting in place procedures to intercept floating waste from rivers is also essential.

Rivers are a main source for ocean waste. Avoiding floating litter from rivers to dilute into the ocean is a proactive approach for reducing an increasing environmental problem.

From oil spills to waste collection

Based on technology from oil spill response systems, SpillTech has created the PortBin TrashTrawl. The PortBin TrashTrawl tackles waste pollution in rivers by collecting floating garbage in a net.

The PortBin TrashTrawl uses the same principle as oil spill clean-up with high-speed booms which feed the waste into a meshed net. Depending on the amount of floating waste in a river, the net is then emptied on a daily or weekly basis.

The TrashTrawl has a capacity of approximately 1 000 litres. The system has no limits for the width of the river, but it is most effective at water speeds between 0.1 and 2.5 knots. The TrashTrawl is most practically implemented near cities or populated areas containing a level of infrastructure. It does not impede marine traffic.

The TrashTrawl has been deployed in Oslo, Norway, to stop floating waste reaching its refurbished downtown waterfront area. It is one of a series of waste collection products from SpillTech, alongside the PortBin tide for collecting floating waste in ports.


Concrete benefits

The TrashTrawl is an emission-free and hassle-free solution for collecting floating waste. Deploying the TrashTrawl in a river is much simpler than removing waste once it has reached the ocean.

The TrashTrawl lowers the cost of ocean clean-up considerably and makes public areas cleaner and nicer. It also protects wildlife in rivers and oceans, both in urban and other areas.

Market potential

Demand for measures to tackle plastic waste is on the rise. In 2019, 180 countries signed the UN Basel Convention on plastic waste, which aims to create legally binding mechanisms for handling plastic waste worldwide.

The TrashTrawl is part of a series of floating waste collection products from SpillTech. The first product in the series, the PortBin tide, was launched commercially in 2017. It has been sold to many ports and harbours in Norway, Denmark and the UK.

SpillTech is currently exploring market opportunities in Asia, Europe and North America.


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At a glance

  • Device for collecting floating waste in rivers

  • Based on oil spill technology which uses sturdy high-speed booms to feed waste to a net

  • In use in downtown Oslo, Norway



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