Trash Elimination Device Removes Pollution From Runoff

Marine debris is a growing worldwide concern, and pollution flows into Maryland streams daily. A majority of the material, which can include plastic bottles, cans and other litter, is carried into watersheds by stormwater runoff and wind. KCI teamed with Clearwater Mills (CWM) to help install an innovative trash interceptor system at the Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) Spring Gardens Facility.

The trash elimination device (TED) is very similar to the trash wheel that was installed in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in 2014, in that it can be installed at a single point to collect trash before it enters a waterway. The major difference is that TED has been engineered for smaller stormwater sources. The system is located at an outfall that receives runoff from approximately 60 surrounding acres in South Baltimore. The swale flows into the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River, which the EPA lists as impaired for trash.

The trash cage sits outside of the BGE facility in Baltimore.

KCI provided design and environmental permitting services, geotechnical engineering services and assisted BGE with development of operation and maintenance documentation and overall project management of the project.

Installed across the Heath Street storm drain outfall, the TED’s rectangular cage captures trash and debris while still allowing water to flow through. A fine mesh screen at the bottom captures small pieces of litter, while a coarser mesh at the top catches larger items. The trash cage operates on a rail system, which extends from the swale to the surface allowing the contents to be emptied into a dumpster. The system is solar powered and equipped with a camera to ensure constant monitoring. The collected trash is then taken to a waste-to-energy facility across the Patapsco River from Spring Gardens. Since being placed in service at the end of last year, BGE reports that the TED has collected more than 750 pounds of trash.

Trash is collected before being sent to a waste-to-energy facility.