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Water Wheel scoops 19 tons of Inner Harbor trash in one day

Baltimore's Water Wheel scoops up 19 tons of trash fron Inner Harbor in one day.

The Inner Harbor Water Wheel, the solar- and water-powered contraption that removes trash and debris from Baltimore's waterfront, collected a record 19 tons of waste on Monday, officials said.

The Waterfront Partnership last spring launched the Water Wheel recognizable by a trash collecting device that resembles a steamboat paddle wheel. The device is turned by the Jones Falls River current as it scoops up trash and debris that is placed onto a conveyor belt and poured into a dumpster barge.

The barge then hauls away the trash and another dumpster is put in its place. Solar panels provide additional power, officials said.

The Water Wheel has quite a following. A YouTube video on the contraption posted last may has more than one million hits.

On Monday, the Water Wheel filled six-and-a-half dumpsters with 19 tons of trash following the season's first major rain storm, officials said. The 19 tons of trash and debris eclipses the old mark of 11 tons set on May 16 of last year, officials said.

The efforts where held in advance of Earth Day, April 22, Waterfront Partnership officials said. It's also part of a move to someday make the Inner Harbor swimmable and fishable, officials said.

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