New Roska-Roope collects surface waste from the sea

The Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association is celebrating its 50 years of operations by introducing a completely new kind of waste collection vessel to Finnish waters. Named Roska-Roope, the vessel is fully electricity-powered and also uses solar power, which makes it very much environmentally sound.

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”We have studied the waste on Finnish shores since 2012, because most of the waste in the seas and waterways comes from land. Through our Siisti Biitsi (clean beach) programme we tidy up beaches, but we have not collected waste from water before. Thus emerged the idea of a vessel that picks up waste directly from water. The vessel was designed by Kari Suonsilta from Aikari Oy and built by Alpo Pro Boats Oy in Rauma”, says Aija Kaski, Secretary General of Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association.

Roska-Roope sets out to clean the surface waters in places that can’t be reached from the shore and where bigger vessels are unable to go. Roope can sail on shallow water, it is easy to operate, and can be carried on a trailer. The principle of collecting waste is simple. The vessel heads at waste floating on the surface which ends up in the waste container through a hatch in the bow while the water flows through a filter back into the waterway. One of the special features of the vessel is that it has no wheel or rudder but is steered with two engines.

”The operating area of the vessels is the whole of Finland, and our goal is to go where people gather together. This summer Roska-Roope will be seen collecting waste e.g. at summer festivals arranged on beaches. Maximum visibility in different events will also remind people that no waste produced by people belongs to waterways”, Aija Kaski stresses.

With a price tag of around 100,000 euros, the purchase of Roska-Roope was supported by Viking Line, the Weisell foundation, Lähitapiola, and the cities of Turku and Helsinki in the spirit of their shared Baltic Sea Challenge.

Text: Kari Ahonen
Photo: Markku Koivumäki

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