Trash interceptors are becoming more common in large cities, preventing garbage from floating down waterways. Mr. Trash Wheel is Baltimore’s pride, contributing to a cleaner, more beautiful city waterfront. But do you know how Mr. Trash Wheel influenced other trash-collecting characters?
Mr. Trash Wheel is an anthropomorphized trash collector who lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Trash Wheel inspired a slew of trash collectors, including Professor Trash Wheel, Captain Trash Wheel, and Gwynnda the Good Wheel of the West, who collects more trash than the others combined.
The Celebrity Mr. Trash Wheel
One of Baltimore’s most prominent figures is not on a sports field or in a city hall office. Instead, he’s doing the mundane job of cleaning the city’s waterways. But that is precisely what has made him famous. Perhaps you’re one of his thousands of Twitter followers, or you’ve eagerly posed for a selfie next to him.
Mr. Trash Wheel is a large garbage interceptor who works nonstop to clean trash in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor’s Jones Falls stream. With a gaping maw of a mouth, he’s winning hearts and minds by improving Maryland’s prized waterfront. And by preventing trash from entering the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, he is making a difference far beyond the city limits.
The original Mr. Trash Wheel’s creator, John Kellet, is the founder of Clearwater Mills, a locally owned and operated logistics company based in Baltimore. He said he was inspired to create the wheel after seeing the amount of trash that washed into the harbor after it rained. So he decided to try to build something.
There should be a way to stop this trash before it spreads out. I did some research to see if there was anything out there to tackle that job, and I found nothing.John Kellet, the Founder of Clearwater Mills and Creator of Mr. Trash Wheel
Mr. Trash Wheel’s Impact to Society
Kellet’s observation is not unique to Baltimore. Our planet is in the grip of a plastic-pollution crisis. Kellet drew his idea on a napkin and built a small working prototype after realizing that the mouth of the main river feeding the harbor was the most logical place to capture trash.
The wheel was then set in motion. Mr. Trash Wheel has intercepted over 3 million pounds of trash since its installation, making the harbor cleaner, more beautiful, and a better home for local wildlife and waterfront businesses. Four different wheels are now in Baltimore’s rivers, and more will be added soon to help clean other cities worldwide.
If you go to MrTrashWheel.com you can actually download a spreadsheet of every dumpster we’ve pulled out of the harbor over the past seven years, with an estimate of different types of trash that was in that dumpster. We know that we’ve pulled out over a million styrofoam containers from the harbor, and that’s the sort of information, data and photos that we share with our elected officials to let them know just how big of a problem this is.Adam Lindquist, Director of the Waterfront Partnership Healthy Harbor Initiative
Image from My Modern Art