Innovation in Aberdeen: Retired engineer from the Scottish Agricultural College designs environmentally friendly waste disposal system for boats

A retired agricultural engineer who spent his working life in Aberdeen has come up with a responsible and practical way to store and dispose of waste on yachts and sailing boats.

77-year-old Bob Pringle has come up with a system where by waste such as packaging and food waste, which often builds on sailing trips with no where to put it, can be stored, recycled and disposed of in a way that is both convenient and environmentally responsible.

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Bob, who has been sailing since he was 11, said he found it frustrating when going on sailing trips that the only way to dispose of rubbish was to put it in a bin bag tied to something for the duration of the time out at sea.

Bob’s new system has four containers and can be built into yachts and fastened down so as not to bang about when the seas get rough.

The containers separate the waste into residual, paper and card, bottles and cans, and organic kitchen waste

All the waste can be stored and disposed of once ashore while the organic waste can be poured overboard.

Bob Pringle designed an environmentally responsible food waste system for yachts

There’s also a can crusher and a food mincer on the device to break down the waste giving more space to store it.

Bob is a keen environmental activist who runs the website sustainability-in-practice.org.

He also taught at Edinburgh University on waste reduction and recycling.

The system is designed to be fitted and secured in yachts

Bob’s research centred on topics including anaerobic digestion, food preservation, packaging, renewable energy, plastic recycling and waste food composting.

His favourite sailing spots are the West Coast of Scotland and the Caledonian Canal which runs between Inverness and Fort William.

Bob Pringle has been sailing for 40 years

Bob told The Reporter he built the waste system, which he began designing in October last year, because he was unimpressed with the way waste was dealt with on his sailing expeditions

“We used to hire yachts for the last forty years and almost every yacht, no matter how well designed they are, they have no consideration for waste and you end up getting a bin bag and finding somewhere to tie it to and this wallops about in the waves which is very unsatisfactory.”

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