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Baltimore Water Wheel Takes out the Trash—40 Tons since May

Part innovative urban design solution, part historic and simple design solution, the city of Baltimore's trash-collecting water wheel has been an unmitigated success at mitigating the trash in the Jones Fall River.
July 29, 2014, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Before May 2014, Baltimore was just one city whose harbor was cluttered with trash and debris caused by runoff from the Jones Falls River. Originally, the city collected the trash using crab nets – costing them a lot of time without making much of an impact," explains Mark LeChevallier. That is, until John Kellett designed a water wheel "which would collect trash that flowed from the mouth of the Jones Falls River using power from storm runoff."

"Now the water wheel has collected over 40 tons of trash from the Baltimore harbor since it began turning in May. Talk about taking out the trash!"

For LeChevallier, the Jones Fall River's water wheel is a model to emulated in other cities: "The success that the water wheel has brought to Baltimore, I hope, is a sign of more exciting things to come in the world of environmental innovation and design. I believe these results have the ability to create positive change in not only water pollution cleanup, but also other city issues."

For those interested in more details about the creation of the water wheel, see coverage by Julia Botero for NPR. 

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Published on Friday, July 25, 2014 in Sustainable Cities Collective
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