We May Start Burning the Trash from the Water Wheel

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The trash-collecting water wheel in the Inner Harbor
via Clearwater Mills’ Facebook page

A new agreement between Baltimore City and the Waterfront Partnership could change the fate of the trash collected by Inner Harbor Water Wheel.

Since its installation in May of last year, the water wheel has collected more than 150 tons of trash on its way from the Jones Falls to Inner Harbor. So far all that garbage (10 miles worth of plastic bottles! enough cigarette butts to make it from here to Frederick!) has been sent to a landfill.

A new deal between Waterfront Partnership (which has been footing the bill for the water wheel) and the city could change that. The city would kick in $317,503 to be paid over five years beginning last May, and the trash would be burned at Baltimore Refuse Energy Systems Company to generate electricity.

According to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake “[e]ach ton of trash collected will generate enough electricity to power 400 homes for an hour.”

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