HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Since 2002, about 800 tons of abandoned ocean gear has been burned and turned it into electricity — enough to power 350 homes in Hawaii for a year.
This is thanks to the Nets-to-Energy program, a public-private partnership in Hawaii that provides a free opportunity to convert ocean refuse into energy.
In March alone, the Hawaii Wildlife Fund shipped nearly 12 tons of marine refuse from the Big Island to Oahu for the environmentally friendly initiative.
"In the past several months, there's been a large uptick, a large volume of nets and debris washing up, probably due to ocean current conditions," said Neil Kanemoto, of POP Fishing and Marine.
"We've never seen this much volume in such a short period of time."
The nets are transported to a scrap metal recycler and from there, the nets are chopped into small pieces for the city of Honolulu's H-Power facility. The nets are then burned, producing steam that powers a turbine that creates usable electricity.
Despite the massive amount of discarded ocean gear the public-private partnership has collected and converted, they show no signs of stopping.
The partnership has a drop-off site at Honolulu Harbor's Pier 38.