Waterway transport is energy-efficient in many ways, but it can produce significant environmental load and pollution, if on the go waste is not handled with care. Budapest’s new floating island offers a complex solution for ships, in hope for a clearer Danube.
Budapest is a unique city with the Danube crossing it. It’s in the middle of Europe, and is not only commercially significant, but it’s also popular among tourists. More and more river cruises start and end here, and based on hotel ship passengers’ votes, American Porthole Cruise Magazine chose Budapest to be the best river port this year.
Although there are continuous efforts to revitalize the Danube and to build new connections between the river and citizens, pollution caused by ships has meant a problem unsolved – until now. In April, a unique, complex floating island has been anchored in front of the University of Technology, which is to contribute to reducing the environmental load and pollution of the Danube.
The Green Island is a service unit, where all type of boats (- let them be small or large vessels) can leave their environmentally harmful waste – such as spent oil, oil-polluted hold water, or kitchen waste. The unit manages this waste, works partially as a disposal site, while it also provides high-tech water and tank shooting options (if needed, even on the go). All at one port – which makes it economic and unique Europe-wide. Each use of these world-class facilities reduces the amount of pollution in the Danube. The staff of the island works 24/7, and small motor boats can use their services as well as huge floating hotels.
Not only the purpose, but the facility itself is environmentally friendly as well. The floating island uses solar energy and produces a portion of the power required to the operation from the flowing of the river. With its comprehensive service it’s pioneer - Budapest is the first place in Europe where this complex and integrated service is installed. Considering that clear water is important for everyone, the operator of the service unit hopes to be able to disseminate this integrated service abroad, if it performs well in practice. Tanker Port Environment Technology and Innovation Ltd., developer of the Green Island project already received the award Brand Budapest.
In 1942, people could bathe in the Danube. Times have changed, but hopefully, with innovations like this, we’d be able to do it again sometime.