"SeeHamsters" is the term used to describe the specially designed catamarans used to clean up rivers. The 18-foot-long, 8-foot-wide SeeHamsters are run using solar-powered electrical motors and function as high-performance "maritime environmentalists." Thanks to special ramp and conveyor belt structures, these boats have the capacity to collect up to 1,100 pounds of waste.
These SeeHamsters are employed by the "Orange Troops", the local helpers hired by the Indonesian government, and represent the key tool used for a recycling river cleanup project in Indonesia. The project was designed to promote the circular economy and conceived by the Schwarz Group in conjunction with the non-profit environmental organization One Earth – One Ocean e.V. (OEOO) and the waste management specialist Wasteforchange Alam Indonesia (W4C).
Choosing the city of Bekasi as the location for project implementation was no coincidence – Southeast Asia is considered to be one of the regions most heavily polluted with plastic waste. Rivers bring a million tons of waste into seas – and a high number of that waste flows into oceans in this region alone.
With the help of the SeeHamsters, the rivers and shore areas in Bekasi - directly adjacent to the Indonesian capital Jakarta - are cleared of waste, section by section. The Citarum, reputedly the most polluted river in the world, flows in the vicinity of the metropolis.
The Schwarz Group is much more than just a financial backer of the project. It also contributes conceptual guidelines, expertise, and its business network – which includes the SeeHamsters and equipment for them, appropriate training for project participants and recycling of the plastic waste collected. In the beginning of 2023 the project will be turned over to local actors to provide additional benefits including the creation of local jobs.
Project Facts and Figures
- Schwarz Group
Project initiator, project financing, contribution of expertise, provision of network
- One Earth – One Ocean e.V.
Project management incl. monitoring, production, transport and maintenance of the SeeHamster, training, monitoring
Project coordination on site, responsible for waste concept and recycling
- Indonesian Government and City of Bekasi
Provision of personnel (Orange Troops), operative project implementation
Start of cooperation
Main focus of cooperation
River cleanup project intended to reduce waste entering into oceans
- Removal and recycling of 800 tons of waste per year, starting in 2021 following the launch
- Future operational costs to be covered by proceeds from recycling and waste certificates