Happy Earth Day, read this for good measure :)
PACMAN (Particularly Adept Contraption Managing Aquatic Nuisances
The PACMAN initiative started with the design of a capture and destroy mobile marine system which was the brainchild of several fishermen, ex Navy personnel, boat fabricators and concerned individuals that began over twelve years ago.
Born of the necessity we saw as working mariners out on the ocean for as many as 184 days at a time, we were careful to try to mitigate for all weather and conditions.
PACMAN is a mobile marine gasification system which surpasses MARPOL mandated regulations and releases no dioxins into the atmosphere. Utilizing much of the recovered gasses for fuel enhancement as well as the application of Flettner Rotors allows the units to stay at sea for longer periods than usual craft can sustain and also negates the costly return to land for or other disposal. Our silica based residue amounted to approx. a four foot in diameter plate that could be stacked and then used as aggregate on land based projects for every 4 tons of trash..
Having gained the longevity of being out at sea we then had to combat the collection of the marine debris, mainly plastics and their derivatives. This waste, as seen in the Gyres ,follows predictable pathways due to the Ocean currents, we also discovered that the natural eddies lee side of Islands are a natural congregating areas for floating waste. As such PACMAN was designed as a barge industrial platform with floating capture arms that could be extended or reduced in length as conditions dictated.
The conveyor system was built to pull the waste from the water upon capture and then sort, dry preheat and finally transport to the plasma arc gasification chamber creating a seamless process all completed at sea.
Our combined years of sea time (over 200 yrs) allowed us to look at this from a unique perspective and our years fishing with limited and finite resources available to us gave us the ability to design the most effective system even though it has to be crewed.
To ensure sustainability of the project PACMAN would be contracted to the Island nations to arrive on a prescheduled basis and collect with mini landing craft their beach accumulation of these wastes and to incinerate these for a price, much like the garbage scow would be in servicing the Navy. We would service international waters with the funds paid by international members of UN and other Countries/ organizations who require garbage service of this type, ie USA for Midway, Johnston Atol etc.
Being navigators form the start we looked at a circuit that would allow us to retrieve the most waste throughout the year, much like as fishermen we follow the correct weather for fish, we also paid close attention to the winter weather we would experience.
Following our first publication of this idea and a strong opposition to the idea due to the massive scale of the problem, our scientific counterparts including Miriam Goldstein delivered to us a pamphlet which described what they as scientists perceived to be the biggest obstacles to collection success. We reviewed this and addressed needed modifications to our plan, this would be the time of year we were harvesting from the open oceans verses the travel to Island nations for garbage service. By summer harvest in the main Gyre location and by winter Island rotational pickup and gasification we maximized out impact over time.
PACMAN was not a standalone solution, there is not one, three prongs are always needed: To reduce or eliminate the waste production is primary and to do that the education and mind shift of the generations to come has to be addressed. We are seeing fruition there in the youth mind shift but unfortunately we have spent an inordinate sum on a similar floating catchment system which does not address the concerns in the pamphlet and is incapable of dealing with the waste it collects.
PACMAN can still work, the catchment system that has been launched can be modified to look as the picture of our original PACMAN does and the waste can be dealt with immediately solving their catchment issues. We will not try to recycle sub standard materials (refer to pamphlet) back into the system, it is too costly to run back and forth in both time and carbon emissions as well as impractical. Though a modified floating catchment with holding bays similar to the Array design can work in the rivers and would be worth the cost of recycling.
The international contract for garbage extraction and gasification is the way forward, PACMAN is the best collection and elimination system designed to date. Stopping the global use of plastics and the subsequent discard of waste into the oceans is a necessary priority, this is the movement of today. We can pick up what we can and continue to be the garbage men of the international waterways and islands even after the plastics are gone in order to avoid the need for landfills where waste to energy is not implemented.