This incredible contraption has removed more than 6 million cigarettes from the water
A little technology an innovation can go a long way.
"Mr. Trash Wheel" is a solar powered water wheel in Baltimore. The wheel is responsible for cleaning up the city's harbors. The wheel sits right at the edge where Jones Falls empties into the Inner Harbor.
The photo above shows just how much of an impact Mr. Trash Wheel is making in the harbor. Baltimore's waters need as much help as it can get. Most of the city's waterways are so polluted that they've received failing health grades.
According to the Baltimore Waterfront's website, the current from the river powers the contraption to turn the wheel, picking up various items of litter and transfers it into a dumpster.
If there's not enough power generated from the water, then the wheel uses its array of solar panels to harvest the additional power needed.
Since its creation in May 2014, Mr. Trash Wheel has removed more than a whopping 331 tons of garbage from the waters.
But what exactly does that mean? Let's break it down:
- 1,248 sports balls
- 3,760 glass bottles
- 105,170 grocery bags
- 162,159 chip bags
- 189,180 plastic bottles
- 6,546,000 cigarette butts
A video of the water wheel in action during a rainstorm went viral last year. The foreign-looking attraction is so intriguing to visitors that it has even inspired a smooth-talking Twitter account with the same moniker, "Mr. Trash Wheel."
The wheel's co-creator Daniel Chase told ABC 2 News that he just couldn't stand the pollution in the waters. So Chase and his partner at Clearwater Mills got to work installing the solar and hydro-powered conveyer belt, in the hopes that it would cut down on the mine fields of harbor trash.
The water wheel is part of an initiative created to make the Baltimore Harbor swimmable and fishable by 2020.
Mr. Trash Wheel doesn't always catch garbage. Find out what happened when a python was picked up by the wheel:
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