Lonely Planet Writer

Visit Rotterdam’s floating park made entirely from recycled waste

A floating prototype park made from recycled material has opened in Rotterdam harbour. Designed as a nature-friendly environment as well as a unique space for the public to visit, the structure also actively cleans the Nieuwe Maas River, stopping plastics from the city before they make their way towards the ocean.

The Recycled Park is open to the public now. Image by Recycled Park

Located at Tillemakade 99 beside the city’s floating pavilion, the 140-square-metre Recycled Park officially opened to the public on 4 July. Constructed from retrieved and recycled materials, it includes a seating area for visitors, as well as sections that serve an ecological function as habitats for micro fauna such as snails, flatworms, larva, beetles and fish. The park has been constructed from modular hexagonal sections, meaning that it can be expanded as new material is collected.

Illustrating the amount of waste that is currently in the open waters, Recycled Park also aims to highlight how materials can be re-used in creative ways. In Rotterdam, the Recycled Island Foundation developed three large litter traps to take plastics from the Nieuwe Maas River, testing them over the course of a year and a half.

A litter trap designed to catch plastic waste. Image by Recycled Park

“This prototype shows the potential of what we can do with marine litter. Recycled Park is a floating green structure where birds are nesting, fish are swimming, and where people can enjoy a relaxing moment on the water. From the two seating elements the visitors can see how nature occupies this first new combination of artificial and natural landscape,” said the project’s creator Ramon Knoester. All of the plastic litter that is taken from the river is sorted and recycled to its best use within the park, and even the tiles at the seating areas are made from recycled PET bottles.

More information on Recycled Park is available on the official website.