Norway has long been known for its abundance of wealth, free education, and scenery. Despite its many successes, the Scandinavian country is struggling with maintaining its pristine Oslo fjords free of trash, which is why the Norwegian government is currently looking into using drone technology to do exactly that.
The Oslo fjords that for long have attracted tourists and artists alike are also attracting large scores of rubbish, according to the New York Times. From unwanted cars to heaps of plastic, environmentalists are alarmed at the amount of rubbish that is trapped under the ice and its potential ramifications on the country’s pristine fjords. Last Thursday, the Oslo Port Authority announced it was looking into using drone technology to locate trash under the ice so divers could remove it from the seabed.
Chief technical officer of the Oslo Port Authority, Svein Olav, claims a mayor once said that if you wanted to dispose of a car, “put it on ice.” Board member of the city’s Port Authority, Geir Rognlien Elgvin, believes that the city’s effort to clean the seabed of the Oslo Fjord, which will take flight during this coming spring, will be the first its kind.
The city plans on deploying drones in the water itself to locate the trash build-up, which will then allow human divers to go beneath the water surface to remove the rubbish. An electric-powered ship with an onboard crane will join the cleanup effort next year.
What first alerted environmentalists and city officials alike were pictures of a bloodied dolphin washed up on the shore, surrounded by plastic strewn along the sand. The circulation of these images on social media goaded at two aspects of Norwegian pride: their untouched scenery and their ability to recycle trash.
Although Norwegians understand that “plastic is the real problem,” as the general secretary of the Norwegian Divers Federation, Solve Stubberud, said to the New York Times, the issue itself remains frustrating. After campaigning heavily to develop its no-car zones, Oslo recently received the award for the European Green Capital of 2019. And despite the efforts to make Oslo more sustainable, corporations are still allowed to dump their mining slew off Norwegian shores and into its waters.
Christine Spiten, co-founder and Chief Commercial Strategist of Blueye’s Pioneer ROV, deployed a drone into the waters of an Oslo fjord and was astonished at what she found. She said to The Drive that she found a whole house’s worth of furniture dumped into the water in addition to a rusty bicycle. Corporate waste that joins this conspicuous trash in littering the waters of the Oslo Fjord is attributed to Norway’s failure to sign the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
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