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5 Things You Might Not Know About Mr. Trash Wheel

Eva Niessner

5 Things You Might Not Know About Mr. Trash Wheel

A couple of years ago, a video of some tourists jumping into the Baltimore harbor went viral among Marylanders -- because, as anyone who knows anything about Charm City knows, the water in the harbor is.....well....gross.

(Don't do this.)

But there's a hero out there, bravely working night and day to make sure the water of the Inner Harbor is free of garbage. His name is Mr. Trash Wheel -- and here are 5 facts you might not have known about him.

1. Mr. Trash Wheel has taken a ton of trash out of the water

Well, a lot more than a ton! This water-and-solar-powered wheel has removed about 700 tons of trash from the harbor as of last September (so definitely more by now!). According to stats provided by the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, he's gobbled up nearly 10 million cigarette butts, close to half a million chip bags and around 7,000 glass bottles. Of course, that's not all! He's captured some pretty weird stuff, like a ball python!

(Photo via Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore)

2. Mr. Trash Wheel is active on Twitter

It seems like everyone is using the social media app these days, and trash wheels are no exception! You can follow Mr. Trash Wheel's Twitter account, where he makes puns, praises Marylanders who make a commitment to helping clean up the environment, and sometimes even does Q&A sessions. We bet he'd love some more followers.

3. Mr. Trash Wheel has a friend

Now, Mr. Trash Wheel isn't the only googly-eyed trash wheel keeping the harbor clean! Professor Trash Wheel has been in Canton for about a year, and she's hard at work too. Don't let the eyelashes fool you -- this lady's got brains! (You can get an education from the Professor and see her cute memes on Twitter, too.)

(Photo via Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore)

4. Mr. Trash Wheel loves soaking up the sun

In fact, he's got solar panels! These help power the wheel when the water current is too weak to push it. (It's pretty enviable that Mr. Trash Wheel catches rays all day long and never gets a sunburn.) The wheel propels a conveyor belt that loads all of the trash (and the occasional python) into the mouth of the dumpster. 

5. Mr. Trash Wheel has a big dream

It sounds like a long shot -- getting the Baltimore Harbor swimmable by 2020. After all, didn't we just mention how horrified everyone was when they saw those tourists swimming in the harbor water? But Mr. Trash Wheel is part of the Healthy Harbor Initiative, which aims to make the harbor safe and clean for recreation activities by the start of the next decade. And frankly, we can all do a little bit to help out -- even if that just means making sure your trash goes in the right bin. Mr. Trash Wheel is rooting for you!

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