Science & Technology

Water Wheel Picks Up Trash in Baltimore's Waterwaysi
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July 15, 2014 12:28 AM
Trash in waterways around the world is a major environmental issue. The U.S. city of Baltimore, Maryland, is tackling its problem with a one-of-a-kind contraption with a waterwheel that pulls in garbage. Since it began operating last May, the water wheel has proved more effective than other means of picking up trash in the water. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.

Water Wheel Picks Up Trash in Baltimore's Waterways

Published July 14, 2014

Trash in waterways around the world is a major environmental issue. The U.S. city of Baltimore, Maryland, is tackling its problem with a one-of-a-kind contraption with a waterwheel that pulls in garbage. Since it began operating last May, the water wheel has proved more effective than other means of picking up trash in the water. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.


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by: Swordmaker from: Sacramento, ca
July 15, 2014 12:08 AM
Something is wrong. I might see it per year, 45,000 metric tons a day is equivalent of the displacement of a US Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier every two days. . . and they'd have to haul that pile of rubbish away each and every day.

How many dump truck loads a day? Let's see. Dump trucks usually handle 6 cubic meters (which is convenient for our calculation). . . Which would weigh 1000 kilograms per cubic meter if it were pure water. But since this trash is made of miscellaneous water-soaked debris that floats on water, let's estimate it at a lighter 750 Kgms per cubic meter. Therefore, each dump truck could carry (6 x 750 Kilograms = ) 4.5 metric tons of the 45,000 tons scooped up by this water wheel waste system each day. Ergo, It would take 1,000 dump truck round trips to the land fill per day to handle the detritus collected by this device.

Oh, and think about this. There are 86,400 second in 24 hours. 86,400 second divided by 45,000 metric tons equals one metric ton every 1.92 seconds. Is this flotsam crowding and jostling for position in a desperate dash to be picked up? A truck has to be loaded and move out approximately every 9 seconds. . . 24/7. Powered by water and solar?

I found another article from May 2014 that said this device would collect 50,000 pounds per day, which is only 22.7 metric tons, 2,000 times LESS, than what VOA is claiming the device is capable of doing.

This trash doesn't pass the smell test. . . Garbage in, garbage out.

I believe the 22.7 metric tons. . . Not the amount in this article. Let's get the facts straight.


by: Johnathon Harker
July 14, 2014 11:02 PM
This seems to be a good design and very well thought out. I do not agree that littering is the primary cause of loose trash. Insufficient trash receptacles in public spaces is a major contributor. When bins get full the wind blows the trash all over the street. Scavenging animals and trash that falls from trash vehicles also add to it. Blaming it solely on littering is just plain lazy.