This is the sound of the giant armadillo that is trying to reproduce in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
It’s a clattering, splashing machine covered with a shell of stretched fabric and metal. The futuristic-looking device uses a water wheel and the power of the largest river flowing into the harbor --as well as a glimmering solar panel on its back -- to drive mechanical rakes and a conveyor belt that pull trash from the river before it can pollute the Inner Harbor.
Daniel Chase, is a partner in Clearwater Mills, the company that built the water wheel trash interceptor, better known as the Trash Wheel, which is located next to Baltimore’s Pier 6 Concert Pavillion.
“It picks up all the trash that comes down the Jones Falls, because every time it rains, all the trash in the streets gets swept into the storm drains and comes down the river,” Chase said. “And we are here to catch it before it spreads out into the harbor. We have deployment booms that guide it to our conveyor, and then our conveyor loads it directly into a dumpster, and then the dumpster goes to shore, and gets taken to RESCO for the incinerator, where it gets burned and turned into energy.”