Mr. Trash Wheel gobbles one million pounds of trash

Mr. Trash Wheel gobbles one million pounds of trash

BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- Baltimore’s googly-eyed Mr. Trash Wheel has reached a major milestone, collecting one million pounds of trash since its installation in May 2014, the Waterfront Partnerships’ Healthy Harbor Initiative announced Thursday.

"One million pounds, or 500 tons, is equal to the weight of 55 Tyrannosaurus Rexes or about two Statues of Liberty," says Adam Lindquist, director of the Healthy Harbor Initiative. "This includes more than 8.5 million cigarette butts that, if lined up end to end, would stretch from Baltimore to Ocean City, MD."

Mr. Trash Wheel, an anthropomorphized water wheel trash collector, is the first of its kind. It sits at the mouth of the Jones Falls near Pier Six in the Inner Harbor and intercepts trash that has washed off of Baltimore City streets before it reaches the Harbor and Chesapeake Bay.

"In all seriousness," says Lindquist, "this is an occasion we would rather not celebrate. People need to realize that this is their trash and that it was heading straight for the Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay. It's time we got serious about changing the behaviors that keep our neighborhoods and our Harbor from being as clean and healthy as they should be."

When asked how it feels to have eaten 1,000,000 lbs. of trash, Mr. Trash Wheel said, "This is one small step for a trash wheel in what I hope is a giant leap for mankind. It seems like only yesterday I ate my first empty chip bag. With help from humans, I hope to one day announce that I have eaten my last."

Mr. Trash Wheel was created by Clearwater Mills, LLC, which is currently building a second device set to debut at the end of this year. The device will be known as Professor Trash Wheel and will sit at the Harris Creek outfall in Canton. Professor Trash Wheel is expected to collect an additional 5,000 lbs. of trash per month.

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