Googly-Eyed Trash Eaters May Soon Clean a Harbor Near You

Baltimore’s harbor is cleaner than it has been in decades, thanks to an anthropomorphic trash wheel pulling debris from its waters. Mr. Trash Wheel is a solar-powered trash interceptor based in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, cleaning debris before it enters the Chesapeake Bay. Over a million pounds of trash has been pulled out of the water by Mr. Trash Wheel since its inception. The contraption works by drawing power from solar panels and the current of Jones Falls River to turn a waterwheel, which in turn powers a conveyor belt. Containment booms direct the trash towards the conveyor belt, which then drops the debris into a waiting dumpster. The dumpster sits on its own platform and can be floated out when it’s time to change it. Other states are now looking into the use of solar-powered trash interceptors as well.