Council cleans up sand without eroding the beach

Those tasked with getting rid of the waste that piles up on popular tourist beaches have traditionally been faced with a problem - how to efficiently remove litter without sweeping up half the beach with you.

Poole Council believes it has found a solution and is pioneering a new method of beach cleaning which does away with the problem of erosion.

Traditionally a mechanical beach rake is used to safely remove all litter on the beaches such as cans, bottles, sweet and crisp wrappers, glass and other rubbish.

But while this process is very effective, a significant amount of sand is caught up with the litter and, without effective separation, ultimately ends up being landfilled.

The Borough of Poole has bought a new piece of kit, more at home in a Materials Recovery Facility than on the beachfront, which has solved the problem, however.

The sand trommel, a spinning cylinder that resembles a giant washing machine drum, is used to separate materials by size, extracting the sand particles from the residual waste.

In ten weeks the new technique has ensured over 40 tonnes of clean recycled sand has been reintroduced to Poole’s shoreline.

Cllr Don Collier, the council’s member responsible for the environment, said: “This innovation in waste handling and recycling enables Poole to lead the way in finding sustainable solutions for the future, reducing waste and ensuring the quality of Poole’s beaches is maintained for everyone to enjoy.”

Sam Bond

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