Baltimore is often maligned for its violence, its drug problems, its crumbling infrastructure — but it’s actually a pretty beautiful city, notably so in the Inner Harbor area. Unfortunately, the Inner Harbor also has a pretty serious pollution problem, and this can give visitors the wrong impression.

But, according to a recent story from NPR, Baltimore resident John Kellett came up with a brilliant and environmentally friendly way to get the harbor to clean itself: He built a water wheel.

Watch the video to get a sense of how it works, but basically, the flow of Jones Falls leading into the harbor turns the water wheel, which then lifts the garbage up a conveyor belt and into a dumpster. It’s a brilliant method for cleaning the harbor, and it saves the time of local business owners who used to have to clean it themselves.

Since May, it has removed over 40 tons of garbage from the harbor. It won’t solve the problem entirely, but it goes a long way toward making the city a cleaner place.

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