Beneath their spotless surfaces, rivers are often incredibly filthy and not particularly easy to clean up. After all, you can’t just bust out your vacuum and suck up all of the debris lingering there, or can you? James Dyson believes that cleaning our rivers is just as simple as creating a sort of larger version of his vacuum to remove all of that unwanted gunk. He calls his idea the M.V. Recyclone and it is essentially a river barge equipped with the same cyclone technology used in his vacuums.
Dyson originally unveiled the idea for Time magazine, but the folks over at Fast Company asked the inventor for a bit more detail on his incredible idea. According to Dyson, a large net would be pulled behind the boat, collecting garbage as it moves along. “The nets face upstream and skim the surface of the river for floating debris. The plastic waste is shredded on board and then different grades of plastic are separated by a huge cyclone–very similar to the way our cyclonic vacuums work,” he told Fast Company.
While Dyson has developed a rough sketch of the idea, he admits that it needs more work, such as figuring out how to prevent aquatic life from being sucked up along with the trash, before we will ever see his barges moving along the rivers. Until then, we will just need to keep working on ways to keep the trash from reaching our rivers in the first place.