Victoria’s getting seabins for the first time, but Campbell River’s actually ahead of the game. 

Harbour manager Phyllis Titus at the Campbell River Harbour Authority says a trash skimmer has been keeping Campbell River’s south wharf clean for the last four years.

A trash skimmer is about five to times bigger than a seabin. Titus says the trash skimmer and the seabin are about the same in efficacy but because it’s bigger, trash skimmers tend to have a bigger capacity. 

“With the trash skimmer, we can get bigger particles and stuff but we can also get the smaller particles and oil spills and things like that,” Titus said.

Each trash skimmer is the size of a regular dumpster. They even look similar, except the trash skimmer has big openings on the sides where particles are sucked in. It’s also submerged in the water. 

A trash skimmer costs about $15, 000 USD, according to Titus. The Campbell River Harbour Authority bought the city’s only trash skimmer. 

They’re pricey and if there was more funding, Titus says Campbell River could have another. She says the Harbour Authority could outsource funding, and it’s something they may look into. 

Right now though, Campbell River’s trash skimmer is unplugged and out of the water. 

“It’s not hooked up right now because there’s so many little fish in the harbour. We need to wait for the little fish to go away because (the trash skimmer) sucks in the fish and we have to be careful.”

“This fall, it will be hooked back up again.”