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Litter has a new enemy on Long Island. The hero of this story is cutting edge tech called Collec’Thor. These machines are silent, motorized waste collectors that attract and engulf all solid or liquid waste floating on the water surface.

Two Collec’Thor units were recently installed in Hempstead Harbor at Harry Tappen Marina, the first of their kind ever in use in the United States, according to a press release from the Town of Oyster Bay.

Oyster Bay was selected by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), in partnership with Friends of the Bay, The Waterfront Center, The Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee, and Oyster Bay High School to utilize these machines.

Collec’Thors, the latest in marine debris collection technology, have been deemed the most efficient trash skimmers available for marine and coastal usage. They are specifically designed to target solid and liquid waste, including plastic bottles, cigarette filters, butts and packaging, microplastics and hydrocarbons. The technology uses a small pump to draw in surrounding water and skims any floating trash into its receptacle. The mechanism adjusts with the tide and is easily affixed to a floating dock or waterfront location.

In addition to support from local environmental advocacy groups, the project will also be supported by students from Oyster Bay High School, who will participate in the removal of debris, and analyze and identify marine pollution data. The project aligns with similar environmental initiatives in the Town to minimize plastic pollution in local waterways.

“CCE of Suffolk County is grateful for the support from The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Long Island Sound Futures Fund as it ensures that our critical work to protect and enhance the environment continues,” said CCE Executive Director Vanessa Lockel. “This funding enables our experts to work to restore the health of the Long Island Sound by removing floating debris that negatively impacts our waters.”


Amanda Dauman
Fisheries Specialist

Last updated June 28, 2023