Natural disasters, like the 2011 tsunami in Japan, often leave life-changing tragedy in their wake. A year after the tidal wave hit, debris and personal belongings began to wash up along the coasts of the United States.
Collecting the moving trash for the past three years, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has now started a relief effort to move away the mounting litter onto a barge the size of a football field.
When the barge is completely full, the floating flotsam will be moved south to Seattle for recycling. Anything else left over will be put into landfill disposal in Oregon.
The entire project costs $1.3 million (£835,000) and is partly funded by Japan, which is also still cleaning up the effects of the tsunami on its side.
With no clear routes in or out of the garbage sites, workers “…at sites like Kayak and Montague islands in Prince William Sound, for example, get there by boat and sleep onboard,” the Associated Press reports. “The need to keep moving down the shoreline as cleanup progresses, combined with terrain littered with boulders and logs, makes it tough to set up a camp, Pallister said. There's also the issue of bears.”
The department estimates that 70% of the material from the aftermath of the tsunami has sunk but there’s still a lot floating toward North America.
[H/T: Popular Science]