Water sweepers

Sidewalk sweepers are part of the urban landscape, even for small communes like Marcillon-Vallon with its 1,800 inhabitants. These cleaning tools nevertheless represent a substantial acquisition budget of 100kE to 170kE, and a significant operational cost of around 40 to 50 kE per year with the employment of a permanent technical agent and regular maintenance. But no one would question their usefulness in keeping our roads clean.

What about our ports? Our coastline?

For a similar budget and performance - i.e. 150kE and 1.5 ha per hour - the Wastecleaner boats from the shipyard EFINOR used by EKKOPOL can collect all floating waste in just a few hours. And yet, compared with the thousands of sweepers in service in France, only a dozen or so Wastecleaner boats are in service on our coastline.

For an average French municipality, the area to be cleaned can represent hundreds of hectares and dozens of kilometers of roadways: where several sidewalk sweepers are needed, a single boat is sufficient. EKKOPOL boat is enough to clean a harbor or bay, since most floating waste sails and concentrates in specific places, depending on currents and winds. Regular (i.e. daily) and systematic cleaning of these areas not only minimizes the impact of this pollution, but also improves communication and public awareness.

By pooling these services across several ports, costs become marginal - typically less than ten euros per inhabitant per year, compared with hundreds of euros for household waste collection taxes (TEOM).

So it's not the budget that's slowing down the collection of floating waste, but political decision-makers' awareness of this insidious, regular pollution that's dangerous to human health.

Maritime pollution is associated with oil spills in the collective unconscious: international cooperation, regulations and state resources have made it possible to divide oil pollution by 100. But plastic pollution is more dangerous for the environment and our health, as it is invisible, regular and carries chemical pollutants: every second, thousands of m3 of micro- and macro-plastics spill into the world's oceans. So let's keep on communicating, raising awareness and convincing people to make "water sweepers" part of the French coastal landscape!


Comments are closed