Googly-Eyed Trash Eaters May Clean a Harbor Near You
Thank you to Al Bezanson, GMG FOB and former Schooner Green Dragon Captain (former as his son Andy now has the helm), for sharing the following article.
By Jackie Snow
February 17, 2017
Baltimore’s harbor is cleaner than it has been in decades thanks to two anthropomorphic trash wheels pulling debris from its waters.
Mr. Trash Wheel and Professor Trash Wheel, the latter of which was installed in December, are solar- and hydro-powered trash interceptors based in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, clearing 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 it was installed in May 2014.
The trash wheel’s creator, John Kellett, worked on the harbor for years and saw garbage floating on the water every day. A sailor and engineer, he approached the city and offered to take a stab at cleaning up the harbor. He built a pilot trash wheel and installed it in 2008.
No one had ever tried to stop the trash before and the task seemed daunting. Kellett quickly realized he’d have to go bigger. The pilot wheel was often unable to pick up larger debris and had only one Dumpster, so when it was being emptied, the wheel had to wait for it to return before working again.