BGE Installs Trash Elimination Device “TED” on the Middle Branch

| April 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

Today at its 72-acre Spring Gardens campus in South Baltimore, BGE showed off its new Trash Elimination Device, also known as TED. The waste collection system is at an open swale at the end of the Heath Street storm water drain. The drain collects storm water and litter from more than 60 acres of the South Baltimore Peninsula neighborhoods.

The water drain is listed as “impaired” for trash by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Since its initial pilot run in November 2017, TED has collected more than 450 pounds of trash.

TED was conceptualized by Michael Martino, a BGE gas operator who works on site and noticed the litter pouring into the Middle Branch, especially after a storm. “I saw something that could have a positive impact on the community, the bay, and the environment,” said Martino.

BGE worked with KCI Technologies, and Pasadena’s Clearwater Mills, LLC, the creators of Mr. Trash Wheel, to develop TED. While water wheels like Mr. Trash Wheel are ideal for rivers and streams, the new TED prototype is something that can be used on drains.

TED traps trash in a cage and the team at Clearwater Mills manually transfers it to an adjacent dumpster which is then taken to a nearby Wheelabrator energy-from-waste facility. TED is powered by solar panels.

BGE spent approximately $125,000 on TED.

“TED is a great example of how private interests can align with the public good,” said Calvin G. Butler, chief executive officer of BGE, in a press release. “I’m proud of the BGE employees who went above and beyond to develop an innovative solution that is so beneficial to our neighbors and to the Chesapeake Bay. They truly exemplify our purpose of powering a cleaner and brighter future for our customers and communities.”

Clearwater Mills now has three water wheels on the Patapsco River with Mr. Trash Wheel on the Jones Falls at the Inner Harbor, Professor Trash Wheel on Harris Creek in Canton, and the recently-installed Captain Trash Wheel at Masonville Cove on the Middle Branch in Brooklyn.

John Kellet and Daniel Chase, co-owners of Clearwater Mills, said it will likely take a total of five water wheels and six devices like TED to solve the litter problem in the Patapsco River. They noted that the biggest problem for the Middle Branch remains the Gwynns Falls. A water wheel is in the works for the Gwynns Falls and has received funding commitments from  The South Baltimore Gateway Partnership and Sagamore Development.

There is another runoff stream on BGE’s campus and the company is currently looking into another device. This stream collects trash and runoff from about 100 acres near the stadiums.

The team from BGE and Clearwater Mills said the ultimate goal is to educate people on where their litter ends up and to prevent litter from entering the waterways. They noted that trash from the Patapsco River can eventually make its way to the Atlantic Ocean.

Clearwater Mills has 12 water wheel locations, including in California, Toronto, Honolulu, and Indonesia. Wheels are sent in shipping containers and assembled on site. Kellet and Chase said they are currently in the development phase for projects all over the world.

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