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Beach cleaner

Beach cleaner

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A beach cleaner is a vehicle that drags a raking or sifting device over beach
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea, lake or river. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones...

 sand to remove rubbish and other foreign matter. Beach cleaners are either manually hand-drawn or pulled by quad-bike or tractor. Seaside cities use beach cleaning machines to combat the problems of litter
Litter consists of waste products such as containers, papers, wrappers or faeces which have been disposed of without consent. Litter can also be used as a verb...

 left by beach patrons and other pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

 washed up on their shores. A chief task in beach cleaning strategies is finding the best way to handle waste matter on the beaches, taking into consideration beach erosion and changing terrain. Beach cleaning machines work by collecting sand by way of a scoop or drag mechanism and then raking or sifting anything large enough to be considered foreign matter, including sticks, stones, rubbish, syringes and other items.

Common technologies

Collecting technology
is used in wet sand
Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles.The composition of sand is highly variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal...

, hard surfaces and dirt on surfaces only.
When using this method, the pick-up blade of the vehicle barely touches the surface, tines go into the sand and throw the dirt onto the screening belt. This procedure is of high cleaning speed and mainly used for large surfaces.

Sifting technology
is practiced on dry sand, soft surfaces and on sand which also has waste
Waste is unwanted or useless materials. In biology, waste is any of the many unwanted substances or toxins that are expelled from living organisms, metabolic waste; such as urea, sweat or feces. Litter is waste which has been disposed of improperly...

 buried deep inside.
The sand and waste are collected via the pick-up blade of the vehicle, leaving the sand which is filtered out by the vibrating screening belt. The waste is gathered in a collecting tray which is often situated at the back of the vehicle.

Joint technology
is usable on any sand textures, dirt on surfaces and oil pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

When working with this method, the pick-up of the vehicle adjusts to sand conditions and takes up the top layers of the sand. This procedure is of high cleaning speed and high area efficiency, especially for cleaning up lumps of oil and the removal of seaweed
Seaweed is a loose, colloquial term encompassing macroscopic, multicellular, benthic marine algae. The term includes some members of the red, brown and green algae...


Areas of operation

On the Gold Coast, Queensland
Gold Coast, Queensland
Gold Coast is a coastal city of Australia located in South East Queensland, 94km south of the state capital Brisbane. With a population approximately 540,000 in 2010, it is the second most populous city in the state, the sixth most populous city in the country, and also the most populous...

, Australia, four beach cleaner tractors operate 365 days a year. The machines start at midnight and sweep the entire mainland coast (36 km). Each night the strandline
The strandline, or high water mark, is the area at the top of a beach where debris is deposited. Where there are tides, this line is formed by the highest position of the tide, and moves up and down the beach on a fortnightly cycle...

 is removed from every beach for the entire 36 km of the mainland. Areas where there are flags for swimming are swept from the waterline to the duneline every single morning. Other parts of the upper recreational beach are swept between the duneline and waterline between once a week and once a month depending on the popularity of that beach area. The beach cleaner is a cone
Cone (geometry)
A cone is an n-dimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a base to a point called the apex or vertex. Formally, it is the solid figure formed by the locus of all straight line segments that join the apex to the base...

-shaped sieve
A sieve, or sifter, separates wanted elements from unwanted material using a woven screen such as a mesh or net. However, in cooking, especially with flour, a sifter is used to aerate the substance, among other things. A strainer is a type of sieve typically used to separate a solid from a liquid...

 that picks up 150 millimeters of the sand surface and removes debris
Debris is rubble, wreckage, ruins, litter and discarded garbage/refuse/trash, scattered remains of something destroyed, or, in geology, large rock fragments left by a melting glacier etc. The singular form of debris is debris...

 down to cigarette sized impurities. The sieves are pulled by 100 hp tractors. The machines remove 31 tonnes of debris from beaches in an average week. These beaches receive ten million visitors each year. The beach cleaning tractors also have a program to sweep sandy beaches along the Gold Coast's tidal waterways and the Gold Coast Broadwater
Gold Coast Broadwater
The Gold Coast Broadwater, also known as Southport Broadwater and Gold Coast Harbour, is a large shallow estuary of water reaching from the locality of Southport to the southern section of the World Heritage Listed Moreton Bay along the eastern coast of Australia...