Invention Helps Keep Oceans Clean

Rivers dump tons of plastic into the world’s oceans each year. It’s killing entire ecosystems, including many endangered species.

Since one percent of the rivers around the world dump eighty percent of the plastic into our oceans, it makes sense to target the problem before the plastics and other garbage reach the ocean. While researchers and activists insist that preventing plastic pollution is the top priority, cleanup measures are part of the solution.

After watching garbage flow down a local river for years and after volunteering to cleanup the river, a Baltimore man jumped into action. John Kellett drew up some plans for a machine powered by a water wheel. He designed it to intercept trash at the mouth of Jones Falls, which is the main source of harbor pollution. He installed a prototype in 2008 and it was a success. By 2014, the technology was rebranded as Mr. Trash Wheel—a floating miracle that resembles a miniature riverboat.

Mr. Trash Wheel is a simple trash interceptor that is placed at the end of a river, stream or other outfall. It employs both solar and hydropower to pull hundreds of tons of trash out of the water each year. It’s an idea that demands replication in key rivers around the world.

Using containment booms, trash flowing down the river is funneled into Mr. Trash Wheel’s collection system. Two booms reach outward and under the surface of the water to capture trash. The booms funnel the garbage onto a conveyor belt that feeds a large dumpster. Once the dumpster fills, it is towed away and replaced. Ideally, the plastic gets recycled, but current sorting technologies are unable to separate the plastics from other trash. For now, the city incinerates the trash to create electricity.

Read the Full Story About Mr. Trash Wheel

Earth News

Earth News is a division of Crossbow Communications. Earth News is a syndicated environmental news service. The company covers a variety of health and environmental issues, including biodiversity, chronic wasting disease, climate change, deforestation, endangered species, global warming, neurodegenerative disease, neurotoxins, wildlife conservation and more.

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