Technology development

The Technology Development Institute is helping to develop a new litter control product for the recreational market

By Courtney Swanson

K State News and Communications Services

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

Nauti Trash was born from an idea of ​​a group of boating enthusiasts who often found trash and other debris left in and around waterways as a result of recreational activities. This was not due to intentional waste, but not having a practical way to secure the waste while on the water. In an effort to solve this problem and provide people with a product to help promote keeping the waterways clean, the team started thinking about how the product should work and its critical aspects.

Once team members developed a concept for the product, they contacted staff at the Institute for Technology Development to design, prototype and test the product. The institute developed an initial design, then helped file a patent application on the product idea. The institute also worked with the team on creating a brand name, logo, acquiring a website and finding a manufacturer capable of producing the product in large quantities.

The result of the development effort is the patent pending Nauti Trash Floating Bin. The product has a foam base that allows the device to float on water and a spring-loaded fabric basket that can be compressed flat during storage and then expanded when in use. The basket accepts a large kitchen trash liner and can be used for many water-related activities such as swimming pools, canoeing, boating, etc., to secure trash on the water. The bin also has a strap that allows the unit to be connected to a boat, canoe or dock so 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 groundbreaking new product,” said Bret Lanz, Director of Marketing, Technology Development Institute. “This product fills a market need that until now had no effective solution. Nauti Trash is a perfect example of a team of friends identifying a problem and then developing a solution to meet the need. TDI was able to provide them with the engineering and manufacturing support necessary to bring the product to fruition.”

The project was funded by the Economic Development Administration’s EDA CARES Act Recovery Program.

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