Meet Mr. Trash Wheel Who Eats Trash For Lunch

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Waterfront Partnership’s Healthy Harbor initiate has set themselves a challenge to reconnect the citizens of Baltimore to their environment and it is using a watermill-like trash-eating wheel to do that. Daniel Chase and John Kellet designed what locals call the Mr. Trash Wheel, and so far the barge has “eaten” over 1 million pounds (which is about 100K pounds more than a Boeing 747 weighs), but its appetite only grows! Healthy Harbor aims to make the Baltimore Harbor swimmable and fishable by 2020 and Mr. Trash Wheel is one of their most contributing solutions. It combines hydro and solar energy to collect litter and debris flowing down the Jones Falls River. The river’s current provides power to turn the water wheel, which lifts trash and debris from the water and deposits it into a dumpster barge. When there isn’t enough water current, a solar panel array provides additional power to keep the machine running. When the dumpster is full, it’s towed away by boat, and a new dumpster is put in place. “Ultimately our goal is to put the water wheel out of business,” Healthy Harbor’s Adam Lindquist says. “It’s great because it’s immediate and innovative, but the real solution is that people need  to change their behavior.”

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