Surprising innovation is cleaning up the trash from Baltimore’s harbor

Water Wheel in Baltimore harbor

Like many of our nation’s waterways, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has become a plastic and styrofoam liquid litter box.Much of it sinks below the surface, sometimes posing hazards to ships navigating the area.

Healthy Harbor, an initiative of the nonprofit Waterfront Partnership, is determined to make the harbor swimmable and fishable again by 2020. They’re working to head off debris before it hits the harbor by raising public awareness of proper waste disposal, restricting the use of plastic bags and bottles, and engineering storm drains to catch trash.

And they’ve put into place their secret weapon – a snail-shaped modern water mill that sucks up the plastic and other debris from the harbor. Designed and constructed by Clearwater Mills, the water wheel is powered by 30 solar panels on the top of the structure. Watch the video and see this amazing device in action.

The water wheel can collect up to 40,000 pounds of debris on a rainy day

The water wheel can collect up to 40,000 pounds of debris on a rainy day

Every metropolitan waterway should have this great invention. Still, the real solution would be for we humans to quit polluting by responsibly disposing of our plastic and other discarded materials. Recycle what you can – and the list is growing practically every month!


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