Skip to main content

From Butts to Bottles: Seabins collect garbage along Barrie's waterfront

Two seabins have been placed at marinas in Barrie to collect trash from the lake.

"Seabins are basically floating trash cans that are lowered to the top of the water column, and there's a small pump that draws the water down into the bottom of the pump, and it is collecting trash in the top of the water," said Joel Giles, marina and waterfront facilities supervisor with the City of Barrie.

Once the trash is collected, city staff remove and sort to see what can be recycled.

Over the past 10 weeks, the seabins have collected 2,400 pieces of trash larger than five millimetres.

"Many of the common items found are cigarette butts, plastic bottles, single plastic items such as straws and very common items you'd see in our environment. We found over 700 hard plastic items; some of them were not identifiable because they've been in the water so long," said Giles.

Seabins collect trash from water at the Barrie waterfront and marinas on Thurs., Aug. 31, 2023. (CTV News/Molly Frommer)

Officials with Living Green Barrie said they commend the City for this initiative, noting it's a crucial step.

"We all recognize that the lake is the jewel of Barrie. Our entire city is the lake. We have six creeks that flow through the city. So, anytime you throw any trash anywhere, it's going to get into the lake somehow," said Andee Pelan, executive director with Living Green Barrie.

Living Green Barrie said when it comes to cigarette butts and plastic, they are the top two damaging items.

"Cigarette butt's are particularly damaging. They're actually the worst of the garbage that's out there because they are filled with a whole bunch of chemicals that you don't want to get into the lakes. The other thing is plastic because plastic, of course, are cumulating, and we've got a problem with microplastics, which are causing all sorts of damage throughout the entire ecosystem," said Pelan.

The City said it hopes to add one or two more seabins in key spots that would be most beneficial. Top Stories

Here is Canada's unseasonably mild December forecast

December is predicted to be unseasonably mild across Canada, thanks to a "moderate-to-strong" El Nino and human-caused warming. Warming and precipitation trends will be stronger in some parts of the country than others, and severe weather is still possible, meteorologists say.

Stay Connected