With Provincial funding, Cobourg has installed a Seabin and some LittaTraps to reduce plastic pollution in Lake Ontario. The project is part of an initiative by Pollution probe to remove plastic pollution in the Great Lakes. Working with the Council of the Great lakes Region and other partners the Province has provided $375K in funding to install Seabins and LittaTraps in up to 12 marinas. Seabins work by collecting floating debris and Littatraps are installed in storm drains to trap debris before it enters the Lake. Cobourg has one Seabin installed at the North West wall of the fuel dock and three Littatraps (more details below). At an event today, Mayor John Henderson was joined by MPP David Piccini in announcing Cobourg’s participation. John said that this is “another great initiative” towards improving the environment.
The Seabin floats at water level and has a mesh “catch-bag”. An electric submersed pump causes water to flow into the bag at the rate of 25,000 litres per hour and retains all marine debris 2mm or larger. In Cobourg, the pump is supplied with 110V power via a long extension cord. When the bag is full it is emptied – in Cobourg this has been twice a day and 4Kgm each time. It’s expected that the Cobourg Seabin will be in operation 8 months of the year – it would be removed when the Harbour ices over.
The three LittaTraps in Cobourg have been placed in catch basins at King Street in front of the Dutch Oven, the Harbour parking lot east side across from the campground and one in the parking lot by the marina boat launch. Each device can collect debris over 5mm in size from stormwater.
The co-creators of the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup are Mark Fisher, CEO Council of Great Lakes Region, and Christopher Hilkene, President Pollution Probe – both were at the announcement event. (Also founding members: Boating Ontario, the University of Toronto Trash Team, and Ports Toronto). They are concerned because every year an estimated 22 million pounds of plastic pollution end up in the Great Lakes.
Others at the announcement were the new CAO Tracey Vaughan, Councillor Emily Chorley and several staff who are involved in the project.
In the group photo above are (L-R) Councillor Emily Chorley, Deputy Director of Community Services Teresa Behan, Mayor John Henderson, MPP David Piccini, Mark Fisher, President and CEO Great Lakes Region, Christopher Hilkene, President Pollution Probe and Tracey Vaughan, Cobourg’s CAO.