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I 1 90791817 this 52 foot and8216trash wheelFloating at the side of a river that winds through densely populated neighborhoods in Panama City, a 52-foot-long robotic “trash wheel” sucks up plastic from the water and pulls it up a conveyor belt to be recycled. (The design, which runs on hydropower and uses solar power as a backup, is a tweaked version on the aptly-named Mr. Trash Wheel, which first debuted in Baltimore in 2014.) A camera system will soon use artificial intelligence to identify the garbage—from plastic bottles to toys—to gather data that can help design new strategies to eliminate plastic waste before it reaches the environment.

Image: Chemolex