Published on June 17, 2024
Project Status
B.o.B: Barrera o Basura (Barrier or Garbage) in the Matías Hernández
  • innovation
Start Date


End Date


The first river intervention project consisted of the installation of a floating barrier “B.o.B” in the Matías Hernández River to more easily trap and collect the waste that flows down this river and prevent it from reaching the coast and the mangrove.

This system has been tested in other countries and was also effective in Panama, so we hope that it can be replicated in other rivers that present this same problem.

With the first heavy rains in April 2019, B.o.B received tons of trash that were collected in 470 jumbo bags. By December of the same year, more than 10,000 bags of garbage had been collected, equivalent to more than 70 tons. More than 50 refrigerators, many tires, cars, suitcases, and two 3m-long pipes regularly used for aqueduct and sewer systems were also collected.

To improve the collection capacity, given the amount of garbage that was coming down the river, some adjustments were made to the B.o.B to improve its effectiveness in stopping the floating waste that the river brings. Among the adjustments were reinforcing the second line of barriers and installing upward nets to increase their containment capacity.

During the dry season of the summer of 2020, B.o.B. did not receive much trash due to the lack of rain to wash the waste accumulated in the streets, ditches and streams, into the river. But in April 2020, with the first rain of the year, B.o.B. contained an exorbitant amount of debris.

The B.o.B operated until July 20 of the same year, when it was uninstalled. During the year and a half of operation, B.o.B managed to retain more than 100 tons of waste that would otherwise have ended up on the coast and in the sea.