Baltimore’s floating trash-eaters have intercepted 1 million tons of debris

February 21, 2017 by  
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Mr. Trash Wheel and Professor Trash Wheel sound like characters on a children’s program, but they are actually solar- and hydro-powered trash interceptors cleaning up Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. As cute as they are effective, Mr. Trash Wheel and Professor Trash Wheel have wide googly eyes, a snail-like shape, and the ability to suck up plastic bags , Styrofoam containers, cigarette butts, and other debris. The initial trash wheel prototype was created by local sailor and engineer John Kellett, who approached the city about trying to find a water pollution solution after watching debris floating in the Inner Harbor on a regular basis. After a little trial and error and a promising but inadequate first trash wheel, Kellett gained the support of the Water Partnership of Baltimore , a non-profit that supports environmental legislation and aims to make the area a green, safe, and friendly destination for both humans and animals. Mr. Trash Wheel, who has his own Twitter account, is the result of their union: he uses solar panels and the river’s current to turn a waterwheel, which then activates a conveyor belt. The  trash , which gets pulled in by floating containment booms, gets tangled and lifted by rotating forks before going up the conveyor belt and being deposited into the dumpster. Once the dumpster is full, it gets towed to a transit station, and Mr. Trash Wheel continues on his trash munching ways. But Mr. Trash Wheel doesn’t have to clean up the Inner Harbor’s water all by himself. Image © John Kellet, Clearwater Mills and Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore  Related: Baltimore’s solar-powered water wheel devours up to 50,000 pounds of harbor trash each day After Mr. Trash Wheel’s success, Kellett and the Water Partnership raised funds for a female garbage gobbling counterpart: Professor Trash Wheel. Professor does her work in another part of the Inner Harbor, but both trash wheels are in high demand, especially after rain or thunderstorms. Most of the debris they pick up actually comes from illegal dumping, trash chucked from cars, and cigarette butts stubbed out on the ground as opposed to from people directly littering into the river itself, but the flow of the area’s watershed eventually brings the trash into Professor and Mr. Trash Wheel’s territory. Mr. Trash Wheel has picked up more than a million pounds of trash from the Jones Fall River since it was rolled out in 2014, with the trash wheels filling an average of 70-100 dumpsters worth every year. 300,000 plastic bags , six thousand glass bottles, and nine million cigarette butts as well as more exotic offenders including a live ball python make up the waste that is removed from the waterway. The trash gets burned to generate electricity with plans to increase recycling capabilities in the future. In order to continue their progress and to stay in line with the Water Partnership’s goal of making the harbor swimmable and fishable by 2020, the city is hoping to add an additional trash wheel or two in the future and to serve as a model for other cities and areas with water pollution issues. Kellett is also looking into other potential trash wheel sites, including Rio de Janeiro, Honolulu, and Denver. While the ultimate goal is for trash wheels (even charming, googly-eyed ones with Twitter accounts) to become obsolete due to better environmental regulations and practices, expect to see more of these effective and playful floating trash devices in harbors and waterways near you. Via National Geographic Lead image © The Waterfront Partnership

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Baltimore’s floating trash-eaters have intercepted 1 million tons of debris

Nation’s first large-scale light festival casts a magical glow across Baltimore

April 1, 2016 by  
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Eco-friendly school is a beacon of hope for one of the poorest neighborhoods in East Baltimore

March 21, 2016 by  
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Republican governor embraces Northeast Maglev headquarters in Baltimore

September 22, 2015 by  
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Republicans aren’t known for backing big public transportation projects, so when Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan visited Japan last June and took a ride on a high-speed magnetic levitation train outside Tokyo, supporters of a maglev line between Washington, D.C. and New York City were pleasantly surprised at the governor’s response. “It was an incredible experience, even more impressive than I expected,” said Hogan after experiencing top speeds of more than 300 mph. He then said Maryland would seek a $28 million federal grant to study a potential Washington-Baltimore line that would zip passengers between the two cities in 15 minutes. Now the company behind the push for maglev in the United States is stepping up its commitment. According to The Baltimore Sun,  The Northeast Maglev (TNEM)  just opened its new headquarters in downtown Baltimore. Read the rest of Republican governor embraces Northeast Maglev headquarters in Baltimore

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PHOTOS: The most amazing Park(ing) Day 2015 parks from around the world

September 18, 2015 by  
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Happy Park(ing) Day everyone! This week we asked you to send in photos of the most amazing pop-up parks taking over parking spots near you – and today we’re publishing them for all the world to see. From San Francisco to Baltimore, Australia, Europe and beyond, click through our gallery to see all the fun ways people transformed bare patches of pavement into green urban oases. If you’d like to join in, there’s still time to contribute – send a photo to editor@inhabitat.com with a short description of the park and who created it and we’ll share it with our readers! You can also tag your Park(ing) Day photos with #Inhabitat on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter . Read the rest of PHOTOS: The most amazing Park(ing) Day 2015 parks from around the world

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7 exotic off-grid Airbnb rental homes for adventurous travelers

September 18, 2015 by  
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Filmmakers build mind-blowing 7-mile scale Solar System model in Nevada Desert

September 18, 2015 by  
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Miles from civilization, in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, two filmmakers took on a challenge so big, it was pretty much out of this world. Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh headed into the desert with a minivan, a few friends, a ton of video equipment, and some lighted orbs in various sizes, corresponding to each of our most familiar planets. They built a scale model of our Solar System  that spanned more than seven miles, and then filmed a time-lapse video to illustrate each planet’s orbit around the sun. The results are mind-blowing. Read the rest of Filmmakers build mind-blowing 7-mile scale Solar System model in Nevada Desert

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VW forced to recall nearly 500,000 cars for circumventing smog emission standards

September 18, 2015 by  
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Volkswagen was ordered to recall nearly 500,000 of its cars today after the EPA discovered that the German automaker was using software created to evade emissions testing. According to the EPA, the company has been breaking the law by using a device that can detect when a vehicle is being tested for emissions. The device turns on full emissions control systems only during the testing, giving what is essentially a false reading, which is not only illegal, but it seems awfully hypocritical for a company who likes to tout its commitment to the environment . Read the rest of VW forced to recall nearly 500,000 cars for circumventing smog emission standards

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Baltimore’s Solar-Powered Water Wheel Can Devour 50,000 Pounds of Harbor Trash Every Day

May 19, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Baltimore’s Solar-Powered Water Wheel Can Devour 50,000 Pounds of Harbor Trash Every Day Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Adam Linquist , Baltimore , clearwater mills , daniel chase , healthy harbors initiative , inner harbor , inner harbor trash , john kellett , jones falls , jones falls watershed , living laboratory , resco , solar powered trash collector , solar powered water wheel , TMDL , trash , trash booms , trash collector , water wheel , waterfront partnership of baltimore

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Indoor Fish Farms – America’s Next Big Green Industry?

April 8, 2014 by  
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The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization produced a new study that says the United States has the greatest potential for fish farming. While oceanic agriculture has become popular overseas, it still hasn’t taken hold in North America. In a recent interview with NPR , Michael Rubino , the director of aquaculture at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , said this could be because the industry faces heavy opposition from environmentalists and coastal residents, who aren’t willing to give up their unobstructed views. Read the rest of Indoor Fish Farms – America’s Next Big Green Industry? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Baltimore , Bill Martin , Blue Ridge Aquaculture , controlled environment , fish farming , Food and Agriculture Organization , indoor fish farming , Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology , Martinsville , Michael Rubino , National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , NOAA , over fishing , seabream , seafood import industry , U.N

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