Lake Litter Solutions – Climate Change: Tempe Town Lake

Meeting time


Project description

The Lake Litter Solutions project is looking for a more efficient way to clean trash from the Tempe Town Lake. Due to their proximity to each other, much of the trash from the 202 freeway ends up floating in the lake. Currently, an employee of the city of Tempe drives a trash collection boat around the lake twice a week. This method is highly inefficient due to the boat being unable to access the parts of the lake where trash tends to collect, in the marina and near the dam, specifically. Tempe Town Lake is a popular area in Tempe, with about 2.4 million people using the lake every year. Trash needs to be removed from the lake because it is used for sporting events in and around the lake, as well as for recreational use.

The Lake Litter Solutions team decided to build a robot to traverse the surface of the lake, collecting trash as it moves. Based on the decision matrix and AHP, the team decided this would be the most effective solution to the lake’s trash problem. A passive solution would have worked for some portions of the lake, but the water is not still enough for this to be a truly effective solution for the lake. Once this decision was made, the team began researching aspects of the solution, so that some decisions were already made by the time the team was ready to start prototyping. The first model of the solution is currently being printed, and preliminary tests on the solution will be conducted before the end of the semester.