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Huge trash-collecting boom heads to the Big Island

HILO, Hawaii — A trash collection device that broke apart while deployed in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii was scheduled to arrive to the Big Island on Sunday.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports the 2,000-foot (600-meter) long floating boom was being towed to Hilo after its support crew discovered a structural malfunction had caused an 18-meter section to detach late last month.

The U-shaped barrier was towed in September from San Francisco to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — an island of trash twice the size of Texas. The barrier is intended to trap pieces of plastic swirling in the patch.

State Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara says the harbors division was coordinating with The Ocean Cleanup organization.

Sakahara says the organization will assess the boom’s damage.

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Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/