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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee Magazine

Kudos: Trash Wheel Debris Remover to Debut on Kinnickinnic River


The Harbor District Inc., the nonprofit group stewarding redevelopment in the vicinity surrounding Milwaukee’s inner harbor, won a Trash Free Waters grant for nearly $500,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The grant will support the purchase of a “trash wheel” that will be installed in the Kinnickinnic River. The wheel will help remove trash from the water, thus improving the safety, aesthetic quality and environmental health of the waterway. The trash wheel is not expected to interfere with canoes, kayaks and other watercraft that regularly use the river.

According to the Milwaukee Harbor District’s website, the trash wheel is “a stationary trash-collecting device that includes a water wheel which runs a conveyor belt. A pair of booms direct trash floating down the river to the conveyor belt, and then trash is collected in a dumpster for removal.” One design being considered is the Mr. Trash Wheel, a google-eyed trash interceptor currently used in Baltimore’s harbor. The Harbor District hopes to have the wheel in the water and running by spring 2022.

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