Logistics – Technology – Innovation
ECO-CLEAN Solutions was founded by the current CEO, JB Harris in 2020 to address the challenges of removing plastics and debris from the shores of Lake Tahoe. In 2021, JB joined forces with JT Chevallier, who would help implement, develop and coordinate Eco-Clean actions.
In 2021, ECO-CLEAN Solutions partnered with Poralu Marine, and of course The Searial Cleaners with the aim of introducing new, more precise, minimally invasive and environmentally safe collection technology to improve clean-up campaigns. This project was made possible thanks to funding and support from Keep Tahoe Blue.
We took the opportunity to talk to JB Harris.
Hello JB, we are delighted to be able to talk to you about Eco-Clean solutions and your partnership with The Searial Cleaners.
Can you explain what made you set up Eco-Clean Solutions?
Hello Alexia, thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk about our work.
For years we had been frustrated to see so much waste along the coast, and on the shores of Lake Tahoe. But we were even more irritated and discouraged by the fact that it took forever to pick up all that waste by hand. It’s a colossal task.
The area around Lake Tahoe have very strict laws restricting the use of technology on its beaches. It is a highly protected area which does a huge amount of conservation work.
How did you and JT meet?
JT and I have been friends forever. We come from the same neighborhood near Los Angeles. We are both very committed to protecting the environment. We wanted to do much more and become ambassadors for the cause.
How did you find out about The Searial Cleaners?
Through the 4Ocean campaign. JT knew somebody who worked for the NGO who put us in touch.
We were immediately won over by the Bebot: here was a solution that could meet our needs while respecting environmental regulations to protect native flora and fauna.
What is your goal in the short term?
Our vision is to roll out this initiative in other lakeside communities. Last summer, we did a lot of prevention work and demonstrated Bebot’s advantages and performance to local communities. Our first goal is to provide a regular collection service, modelled on landscaping services: cleaning beaches on demand, or on a monthly basis. This would enable small communities lacking funds to benefit from the use of a Bebot, and therefore enjoy the same services as wealthier districts.
Services would be provided on a for-hire basis so communities would not need to buy a Bebot.
To be able to provide this service, we would like to invest in a fleet of Bebots. The aim would be to buy six before next year.
Ultimately, we will be taking an interest in other solutions in The Searial Cleaners range, such as the Pixie Drone, which we would also like to invest heavily in, and the Collec’Thor.
What sort of customers do you think would be interested in your services?
Mainly coastal towns, port authorities, owners of private beaches or non-NGOs, charitable organizations, etc. Anybody who wants to take action in the global fight against plastic waste.
What results have you seen so far on the beaches you have cleaned using a Bebot?
It’s pretty impressive and, on the whole, satisfactory.
Across a surface area the size of a basketball court, the Bebot collected 10 times more than manual cleaning operations in the same area. The Bebot really is very efficient.
Anybody who has seen it working is won over!
How often do you have to clean up using a Bebot?
Cleaning frequency depends on how popular the beach is, both in terms of numbers of visitors and its propensity to be polluted by human activity.
Do you have any other partners?
We are working with two teams at the University of Nevada.
- The robotics division, researching other cleaning solutions like the Bebot, to help in the fight against plastic pollution
- A researcher specializing in plastic pollution who analyzes the data collected by the Bebot. It is important, vital even, that we categorize and compile the waste collected to find out more about its origin and, even more importantly, its long-term environmental impact.
JB, thank you very much for your time. The Searial Cleaners is very proud to count you as one of its partners. We must work together to change our lifestyle choices and daily habits in order to return our natural spaces to their clean and unspoiled state.