Dexter Infiesto
University of Mindanao

Project idea

Project Title: Vanda Sanderiana Torch: Igniting Change at the Pasig Delta - A Floating Ocean Cleaning Facility, Waste Interceptor, and Zero Waste Innovation Hub

The project aims to address the pressing issue of oceanic pollution caused by river-borne waste, with a focus on the significant contribution of the Pasig River to marine pollution in Manila Bay. Statistical data reveals that the Pasig River discharges approximately 63,000 metric tons of plastic into Manila Bay annually (World Bank, 2018), exacerbating the global issue of oceanic pollution, which sees an annual influx of 11 million metric tons of plastic into the ocean (Jambeck et al., 2015). By meticulously analyzing extensive waste data, the project proposes the construction of a stationary floating facility, strategically positioned at the mouth of the Pasig River, to intercept and manage river-borne waste efficiently. Named the Pasig River Gateway Floating Ocean Cleaning Facility and Research Center, this innovative facility integrates advanced interceptor systems, waste sorting technologies, and modular waste management facilities. Objectives include intercepting and managing waste, implementing a circular economy model, promoting resource-efficient waste management, utilizing renewable energy, and serving as a research and education hub. By exemplifying circular economy principles, harnessing renewable energy sources, and engaging the community through education and research, the project aspires to become a beacon of environmental stewardship and sustainability, symbolizing transformation and resilience akin to the Vanda Sanderiana Torch. Through its holistic approach to environmental conservation, the project aims to inspire change and ensure a cleaner, sustainable future for generations to come.

Project description

The project encompasses the development and implementation of a comprehensive solution to address the issue of river-borne waste pollution, particularly focusing on the Pasig River in the Philippines and its contribution to marine pollution in Manila Bay. The scope of the solution involves the design, construction, and operation of a stationary floating facility, named the Pasig River Gateway Floating Ocean Cleaning Facility and Research Center. This facility will serve as a multifunctional hub for waste interception, sorting, processing, and education, with the overarching goal of mitigating marine pollution and promoting sustainable waste management practices. Advanced interceptor systems will be employed to efficiently capture and divert river-borne waste before it reaches the open sea. Cutting-edge waste sorting technologies will then segregate the collected waste into recyclable materials, organic matter for aerobic and anaerobic treatment, and other categories for further processing. The project will also incorporate circular economy principles by establishing recycling centers, repair and reuse facilities, and a wastes-to-product center to minimize reliance on new raw materials and promote a sustainable consumption model. Additionally, renewable energy sources such as solar panels will power the facility, reducing its carbon footprint, while a rainwater collection system will ensure responsible water management. Furthermore, the facility will function as a research and education hub, engaging the community through interactive displays, workshops, and environmental study programs. Through this integrated approach, the project aims to not only clean up the Pasig River and Manila Bay but also inspire broader changes in waste management practices and environmental stewardship.

Technical information

II. Project Objectives and Technical Specifications:
1. Intercept and Manage Waste:
• Utilize cutting-edge technology for efficient waste interception (Jambeck et al., 2015).
• Prevent river and oceanic waste from reaching the open sea, mitigating marine pollution
2. Circular Economy Model Implementation:
• Initiate circularity by integrating waste separation technologies.
• Direct materials to specific centers:
• Recycling Center
• Repair and Reuse Center.
• Wastes to Product Center.
3. Resource-Efficient Waste Management:
• Aerobic and Anaerobic Treatment Plants (United Nations Environment Programme, 2019):
• Break down organic waste efficiently.
• Generate valuable byproducts for:
• Hydroponic planting systems.
• Aquaponic planting systems.
• Green Belt (International Renewable Energy Agency, 2019)
• Enhance biodiversity.
• Promote environmental sustainability.
4. Renewable Energy and Water Management:
• Solar Panels (International Renewable Energy Agency, 2019) :
• Power the facility, minimizing the carbon footprint.
• Rainwater Collection System (World Water Council, 2019 :
• Harness precipitation for responsible water management.
5. Research and Education Hub :
• Act as a dynamic center for environmental study and innovation (UNESCO, 2017).
• Engage the community with:
• Interactive educational displays.
• Sustainability workshops.
III. Circular Economy in Action:
The project initiates its circular economy model with the strategic interception of river and ocean debris, preventing further pollution. Advanced AI waste sorting ensures optimal resource separation, directing materials to the recycling center and repair and reuse facilities. The wastes to product center exemplifies circularity, turning waste into valuable products, showcasing a commitment to resource efficiency (Ghisellini, P., et al. 2016).
1. Waste Collection:
• Intercept river and ocean debris with:
• Floating barriers.
• State-of-the-art interceptor technology.
2. AI Waste Sorting:
• Optimize resource separation for:
• Efficient recycling.
• Directed materials to appropriate centers.
3. Recycling Center:
• Transform sorted materials into reusable resources.
• Contribute to a circular economy by:
• Minimizing reliance on new raw materials.
• Promoting a sustainable consumption model.
4. Repair and Reuse Center:
• Salvage and refurbish items to:
• Extend product lifecycles.
• Actively contribute to waste reduction.
5. Wastes to Product Center:
• Exemplify circularity by:
• Turning waste into valuable products.
• Showcasing commitment to resource efficiency.
6. Renewable Energy and Water Management
Solar panels power the circular economy, minimizing the carbon footprint and exemplifying a commitment to eco-friendly practices. The rainwater collection system contributes to responsible water management by harnessing precipitation, reducing dependence on external water sources.
• Solar Panels:
• Harness solar power for:
• Facility operations.
• Minimal environmental impact.

IV. Resource-Efficient Waste Management
Aerobic and anaerobic treatment plants play a central role in breaking down organic waste efficiently, generating valuable byproducts for hydroponic and aquaponic planting systems. These innovative agricultural practices utilize nutrient-rich byproducts, fostering a self-sustaining cycle within the facility. The green belt, symbolizing nature's integration, enhances biodiversity and promotes environmental sustainability.
V. The Symbolic Design
The project's symbolism lies not only in its architectural design, inspired by the Vanda Sanderiana Torch, but also in its holistic approach to environmental conservation. It signifies a beacon of change for Manila, addressing the most polluted river in the Philippines, the Pasig River. Inspired by Vanda Sanderiana Torch:
• Symbolizes resilience and transformation.
• Mirrors the project's commitment to environmental restoration.
• Holistic Approach to Environmental Conservation:
• Addresses Pasig River, the most polluted river in the Philippines.
• Transforms environmental challenges into opportunities.

VI. Research and Education Hub
Beyond waste management, the facility serves as a research center, actively contributing to ongoing environmental study and innovation. Interactive educational displays engage the community, fostering environmental awareness and sustainability practices.
VII. Conclusion
The Pasig River Gateway Floating Ocean Cleaning Facility and Research Center transcends its physical form. It embodies a vision for a cleaner, sustainable future, leveraging technology, circular economy principles, and education to inspire change. As a model for sustainable urban development, it forges a legacy of environmental stewardship and global environmental impact. This initiative encapsulates not just a facility but a transformative journey towards a harmonious coexistence with nature, ensuring a legacy of environmental legacy for generations to come.

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