Officially called The Inner Harbor Water Wheel is known as Mr Trash Wheel to locals. It uses solar and water current power to keep the Baltimore harbour clean.

Since 2014, Mr Trash Wheel has been collecting litter and debris flowing down the Jones Falls River. The river's current gives the power which is necessary to turn the water wheel. While turning, the wheel lifts trash from the water and transfers it into a dumpster barge. When it is full, a boat tows it away and another, empty one is put in place, read to be filled. The collected trash is then put to the best use possible - it is incinerated in order to generate electricity.

Sometimes, the river current isn't strong enough - in that case, Mr Trash Wheel uses its solar panel array as well, so there is plenty of power to keep the eco-friendly machine running. When the day is very sunny, the solar panels can produce 2,500 watts of electricity, which is said to be enough to power a typical Maryland home. 

Since May 2014, Mr Trash Wheel has gathered 1,094,340 lbs. of trash and debris, including 372,650 plastic bottles, 464,947 polystyrene containers, 8,965,600 cigarette butts, 6,478 glass bottles, 257,337 grocery bags and 346,149 chip bags - according to its website. Now that is very impressive!

It is a very simple, yet very efficient machine, so imagine most of the rivers having one - wouldn't they be a prettier sight?

April 3, 2017 Living photo: Waterfront Partnership

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