Floating Skyscrapers Turn Trash into Treasure

Floating Trash Islands

We recently discussed architectural recycling options for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and we have also looked into a few underwater skyscraper designs. This next design is a fusion of these two ideas. Designed by Milorad Vidojevic, Jelena Pucarevic, and Milica Pihler, the Lady Landfill Scraper is intended to float around the ocean, collecting garbage to incorporate into its design.

Trash Island Bottoms

The basic design of the structure was inspired by the Eiffel Tower, which is clearly evident in the plan layout. Essentially, it looks like the Eiffel Tower was flipped on its head and then suspended in the ocean. As the tower drifts through the Pacific Ocean, the lower portions of the tower create a sort of net that captures drifting plastic.

Once enough garbage has been collected, the mass of plastic is transported to the center of the structure, where it is processed and recycled to create fuel. According to the designers, this process would provide enough energy to power the entirety of the structure, resulting in a self-sustaining garbage cleaning device.

Trash Islands

The upper levels of the tower support grow zones, where plant life can suck up carbon and provide nests for birds. Additionally, the highest levels would contain the control center and the housing for the human laborers aboard the vessel. This section includes an automatic ballast system that sucks in or expels water to ensure that the vessel remains balanced.

The Lady Landfill Skyscraper is really quite clever. Not only does it do all of its work without requiring external power and resources, but it would start to clean up the Pacific Ocean, a task that would otherwise cost billions of dollars. The LLS would eventually pay itself off by providing a constant source of tradable energy. It cleans, it recycles, it’s self-sufficient, and it provides more living space. It’s really a shame that this design merely received an honorable mention at the 2011 Skyscraper Competition.

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