Let’s talk trash, shall we?
I live about an hour south of the port city of Baltimore, MD, and make the traffic-riddled drive to the city a few times a year for various reasons. Concerts, brief reunions with friends or family touching down at the airport for a layover, or simply a change of scenery.
Little Italy is the perfect spot to grab a bite, with cozy restaurants with ample outdoor seating ready for the masses. The old town area that is constantly under construction has a unique charm, and the harbor, although it carries quite a stench, is peaceful at sunset on a weekend evening.
I can’t recall a visit that was less than enjoyable, despite the bad rap the city and surrounding ‘burbs get. It’s a rough and ready town, which I believe anyone—local or tourist—can attest to.
It’s also overwhelmingly dirty.
After a downpour, the city streets become littered with garbage—plastic water bottles, tattered grocery bags, and other assorted rubbish that leaves onlookers an equal sense of disgust and disappointment. It’s source? Run-off from the Jones Falls River that can be argued to be more discarded waste than actual water. The stench of the harbor starts to make more sense after experiencing the mess.
One Baltimore local, John Kellett, took notice—and offense to the negative comments being made about his precious city’s otherwise beautiful scenic harbor—and developed a plan to begin to remove the tons of trash from the water. A giant waterwheel could effectively begin to ,slowly but surely, remove the forgotten about garbage from the inner harbor and begin to create a more appeasing scene for both residents and tourists.
The city listened to his plan, and quickly put it into action.
Although the water wheel in Baltimore’s inner harbor hardly addresses the root of the trash epidemic within the city’s limits, it, hopefully, acts as an immense reminder of this pressing fact:
We are the issue.
If we held ourselves more accountable to the waste we discard, having a greater awareness of the fact that it does not simply disappear into thin air, Baltimore’s trashy issue may begin to actually clear up—not just be corralled into a beautifully decorated dumpster.
Watch the video; be inspired to effect change. And if you should visit Baltimore any time soon, be sure to keep an eye out for the spaceship-like structure that disguises the water wheel. It’s hard to miss.
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Editor: Renée Picard