BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Cleaning up the muck. There’s yet another aggressive push to clean up the Inner Harbor, and the star won’t even be a person.
The harbor has a notorious reputation for being filthy, but in 2014, something else started to grab people’s attention — a garbage collector in Harbor East. Affectionately known as Mr. Trash Wheel, it’s the brain child of Maryland man John Kellett.
“I’d notice how the tourists react to it. It’s a beautiful harbor, but there is a lot of trash. I said, ‘We’ve got to do something about this trash,'” said Kellett.
Now, just years later, another one will be coming to Canton.
More than $500,000 was raised to pay for the new water wheel. They have an ambitious goal to get it installed at the Canton Waterfront by the end of the year.
“I think it’s fantastic. I think, hopefully, there will be even less trash in the Harbor,” said Christopher Mims.
“Anything that keeps the waterway clean is good for the city,” said John Salconi.
The Waterfront Partnership has been keeping tabs. They say since 2014, Mr. Trash Wheel has trapped tons of trash, including 208,000 grocery bags, 315,000 plastic bottles and a whopping 8.2 million cigarette butts.
“It’s pretty disgusting. We do work up stream, we’ve got this great program called Alley Makeover, where we work with neighborhoods to help clean up their neighborhoods and keep them that way, but we need to see behavior change across the city,” said Adam Linquist, Healthy Harbor Initiative.
A second trash wheel means another way to clean the harbor, which has consistently received failing grades.
“The harbor has been an ambitious project that has not gone well for the last couple of years, and it’s quite obvious that we need all the help that we can get,” said Megan Kalkstein.
The new trash wheel will be called Professor Trash Wheel, who “has a degree in trash studies with a focus on the Chesapeake Bay.”
The inventors say this will only be the second water wheel in the world. The first has been so successful, the owners say they’ve been getting inquiries from around the world.