Recycled Island is a great idea for getting rid of the floating plastic dump in the Pacific. The island would be built where the trash is located and would convert the waste onsite cutting down on cleanup and building costs. It would be between Hawaii and San Francisco in the heart of the Pacific Ocean’s currents.
Currently, this research project is in the design phase. The Netherlands Architecture Fund has provided the grant money for the project. WHIM architecture firm is conducting the research and design of Recycled Island. The project was created to look at a way to turn the floating plastic into urban habitats.
The Pacific Ocean trash dump is twice the size of Texas, or the size of Spain combined with France. The Pacific Vortex as it is sometimes called, is made up of four million tons of Plastic. Cleaning it up is going to cost a lot of money and require a great deal of either scooping up the plastic and shipping it back to shore, or some sort of onsite recycling for building something like Recycled Island.
One of the three major aims of the project is to clean up the floating trash by recycling it on site. Two, the project would create new land for sustainable habitation complete with its own food sources and energy sources. Lastly, Recycled Island is to be a sea worthy island.
Further aspects of the island would be: the creation of “fertile ground” from compost toilets. The island would also be non-polluting, using natural resources. Recycled Island would be 10,000 Km2 or the size of Hawaii’s main island. It would be self-sustaining and not dependant on other countries. The urban housing would be designed for future climate refugees. These are very lofty goals but if carried out, Recycled Island would turn the trash into a money making enterprise rather than an economic sink hole.
Electricity would come from renewable resources like solar, wave, and wind energies. Seaweed farms would serve two main purposes: habitat and food for fish; and as “’nutrient sinks’ that would take up inorganic nutrients (ammonia, nitrate, phosphate) from the water column.” The seaweed can also be used for other things like people food, biofuel, CO2 capture and medicine.
Currently, the project is looking for samples of the broken down plastic in the Pacific dump to examine recycling possibilities. Research is also being conducted to determine the best methods for collecting the plastic and to locate chemists and engineers to help with the best recycling methods and “construction of the floating habitats.”
If and when Recycled Island is actually created, it will be a marvelous place to live, work, and vacation. All that and saving the environment too.
All photos are from Recycled Island.