A Waterwheel That Picks Up Floating Trash

Down, dirty, and wet

Waterwheel-powered Trash Interceptor

Illustration by Son Of Alan

This spring, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor will become home to the first permanent waterwheel-powered trash interceptor. With energy from the Jones Falls River current and solar panels, the floating device sweeps litter up a conveyor belt and straight into a Dumpster for easy disposal.

The Parts

A) Booms direct trash onto the conveyor

B) Rake system breaks up the intertwined debris

C) Conveyor belt lifts the trash out of the water

D) Dumpster collects the waste for later disposal

E) Waterwheel turns the conveyor belt

F) Solar panel array provides supplemental power

Source: John Kellett of Clearwater Mills, LLC and Ziger/Snead Architects

This article originally appeared in the March 2014 issue of Popular Science.