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Challenges 2021: This is how we mastered our missions

Corona security, large tree trunks, low water level: despite preparations, our missions brought with them some challenges this year as well.

All in all, these little things can really mess up our plans. We noticed this, especially during our missions. At the end of the year, we would like to give you a few insights into smaller and larger challenges:

The pandemic naturally provided a challenge that should not be underestimated. The Corona Virus kept us busy in very different ways: Our preparations often took longer than usual due to the strict entry regulations and local regulations. Some of our employees had to put up with a week of quarantine in a hotel. The procurement of sufficient rapid tests for all employees could also be difficult depending on the location.

After all: all of this can be planned in, is predictable. “It became really difficult when one of our boat drivers fell ill with Corona,” recalls our development engineer Jan Klosterhalfen. “Our mission came to a standstill for the time being. At that moment it was only important that the employee survived the infection. ”Fortunately, that was the case.” And then of course the question arose: How should it go on? Our boat is easy to operate, but it is difficult to find someone at such short notice who has the time to operate our CollectiX eight hours a day”, says Klosterhalfen, describing the situation. “Fortunately, our partners have good contacts, so a week later a colleague was able to take over.”

Corona pandemic only partially calculable

We weren’t so lucky on our mission in February in the Bosnian Visegrad. At first, everything looked like an astonishingly smooth operation: the boat arrived on time, The conditions were good, the support on-site was great – but then our boat was damaged and overturned. Our mission finally had to be ended. The “short excursion” was not a failure. In the time before, we were able to pull out a lot of rubbish.

On the other hand, we faced a different kind of challenge directly in the summer “On the doorstep”. During our mission in the Eifel shortly after the devastating flood in July our boat reached its limits. The tide had washed all imaginable things into the water. Difficulties were repeatedly presented by tree trunks or large branches. “Our rubbish collector has already seen garden furniture and refrigerators,” says Klosterhalfen. “We know from previous assignments that tree trunks are usually not a problem either if they have been in the water for a few years and are accordingly soft.” It was different with the tree trunks in the Eifel. “The fresh wood was still very hard and some logs weighed 300 kilograms. It doesn’t break easily to get on the treadmill.”

And then of course there are the weather conditions. Not that we as an Aachen start-up don’t know what bad weather looks like. A cleanup mission in Slovakia presented us with new tasks, anyway. At least our logistics. When we got there last October for our next mission, the low water level turned out to be the first challenge because the crane’s gripping arms couldn’t get close enough to the low-lying boat to pick up the garbage. “A truck with a gripper arm that was ordered at short notice was able to solve the problem, but it almost slipped off a concrete slab”, explains Klosterhalfen. And that’s not all: when it was being transported, the truck had to cross a wet one with around 25 tons Drive meadow. In the third lap, he got stuck. Yes Here, too, they were more than worth the effort, our CollectiX got more than 72 tons of rubbish out of the dam in the end.

2022 will be the year of everwave

And 72 tons is just the beginning. We can’t reveal too much in prospects for the coming year yet, but this much can be said: In 2022 we will get much more garbage out of the oceans, rivers, dams and other bodies of water on our planet! Word of our holistic approach and the successes associated with it got around the world.

We are already preparing several cleanup missions and some events are already being planned. Wet meadows and heavy tree trunks will probably not have been the last challenges. But we are sure that our solutions will master them and that we will reach the next milestones in 2022 in order to protect our oceans and rivers from plastic and garbage in the long term and sustainably.