KSU Designed Product Helps Litter Control

Design assistance provided by the Technology Development Institute at the Kansas State University Carl R. Ice College of Engineering has led to the design and production of a new product to reduce litter and improve the environment during outdoor recreational activities.

Nauti Trash began as an idea from a group of boating enthusiasts who often found litter and other debris left in and around waterways as a result of recreational activities. This was not due to intentional littering but a result of not having a convenient way to secure the trash while being on the water. In an effort to solve this problem and provide people with a product to help promote keeping waterways clean, the team began to brainstorm ideas of how the product should function and its critical aspects.

Once team members had developed a concept for the product, they contacted staff at the Technology Development Insitute to design, prototype and test the product. The institute developed an initial design and then assisted in filing a patent application on the product idea. The institute also worked with the team on creation of a brand name, logo, website acquisition and sourced a manufacturer capable of producing the product in large volume.

The result of the development effort is the patent-pending Nauti Trash floating trash can. The product has a foam base that allows the device to float on the water and a spring-loaded fabric basket that can be compressed flat while stored and then expanded when in use. The basket accepts a tall kitchen trash can liner and can be used for numerous water-related activities such as pools, canoeing, boating, etc., to secure trash while on the water. The trash can also has a strap that allows the device to be connected to a boat, canoe or dock so that it can be held in place while in use.

“It has been a great experience working with the Nauti Trash team on the development of this revolutionary new product,” said Bret Lanz, Technology Development Institute commercialization director. “This product meets a need in the marketplace that up to this point has not had an effective solution. Nauti Trash is a perfect example of a team of friends who identify a problem and then develop a solution to meet the need. TDI was able to provide them the engineering and manufacturing support needed to bring the product to reality.”

The project was funded through the Economic Development Administration EDA CARES Act recovery program.

The female-owned company, based in Manhattan, plans to launch the product this spring and is working to develop a distributor network as well as sell the product online. More information on the product can be found at the company’s website, nautitrash.com.

The K-State Technology Development Institute, a U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration University Center, provides a broad range of engineering and business development services to both private industry and university researchers to advance the commercial readiness of new products or technologies. Additional information is available at k-state.edu/tdi.

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KSU Photo: The Nauti Trash floating trash can is the first of its kind to help keep waterways clean during recreational activities and was developed with the help of the Technology Development Institute at Kansas State University.