Stadtreinigung Hamburg/ HiiCCE

Project result: Poster (PDF)

Floating waste bin to prevent the pollution of Hamburg’s waterbodies

Description of the company
Stadtreinigung Hamburg (SRH) is Hamburg's largest service provider in the field of waste management. With almost 4000 employees, it operates as a full-service provider for public, commercial and private customers and is responsible for the collection of residual and organic household waste in around 900,000 households. Other responsibilities of SRH include the cleaning of streets, greenspace, playgrounds and parts of the surface of the city’s waterbodies. The Hamburg Institute of Innovation, Climate Protection and Circular Economy is a subsidiary company of SRH and a research institute affiliated to TUHH.

During summer many people spend their freetime on one of Hamburg’s lakes and rivers. Activities like sailing, standup paddleboarding, rowing or just hanging out on pedal boats increase rapidly in popularity. During these leisure activities people often drink and eat while being on the water. The waste they produce causes pollution to the city’s waterbodies if it is not being disposed of correctly onshore but is being thrown in the water.

When people spend time on Hamburg’s waterbodies they usually don’t have the disposal of the products they consume on their mind. As keeping the waste until back onshore often seems a to be hassle, a considerable amount of trash is being thrown in the waterbodies. Since plastic, glass and packaging waste are often not biodegradable they will stay in the waterbodies where they cause environmental pollution and harm flora and fauna. Waste thrown into rivers may even reach the oceans and contribute to the global problem of marine littering. This Waste may even reach the oceans and contribute to the global problem of marine littering.

Aims of the project
The aim of this project is to develop a floating waste bin to provide a waste collection points directly on the waterbodies. The aim is to make the waste disposal on water as easy and comfortable as possible to avoid informal waste disposal into lakes, rivers and canals and therewith protect the environment.

The project has two components:

Step 1 is the design and development of a basic floating bin. This includes the choice of the right material for the floating bin, which needs to be waterproof, ensure that the bin is stable on water in all weather conditions and made from recyclables. The basic bin is anchored to the ground and needs to be emptied from SRH employees working either on a boat or from shore.

Step 2 is the design and development of an advanced floating bin, that has additional technical functions and features improving the waste disposal as well as the emptying process. This could be filling sensors, remote control, lights for use in the evenings, automated transportation of the bin and others, incl. smart solutions.


  • Develop a concept for two floating bins based on the needs of SRH, incl. sketches, construction drawings, description of materials, used technologies, etc. as well as a logistic concept for emptying the bins Produce a prototype to fit all the requirements
  • Present the prototype to SRH and HiiCCE

Target group (students)
Students who are concerned about the environment and interested in developing a technical solution to reduce littering and water pollution. We are looking for students who are creative, full of innovative tech-based ideas, like to dive deep into new thematic areas and prefer to work in teams. It would be great if you are enthusiastic and believe that positive change is possible!

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