Solar-Powered Water Wheel Removes Over 1 Million Pounds Of Trash From Baltimore Waterways

All Mr. Trash Wheel needs to operate is sun and moving water.

Mr Trash Wheel

Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore

Meet Mr. Trash Wheel.

He’s a water wheel from Baltimore who enjoys conserving energy and eating garbage.

And there is a lot of garbage to snack on in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

Since coming to life in 2014, Mr. Wheel has removed over 1 million pounds of trash — including 8.9 million cigarette butts, 464,947 Styrofoam containers, 346,149 chip bags, 372,650 plastic bottles and 257,337 grocery bags — from the harbor.

Complete with giant eyes, he is powered by the river’s current (or solar panels when the water is still).

The force of the current lifts the rubbish and deposits it into Mr. Trash Wheel’s dumpster mouth — the same way most of us eat popcorn when no one is watching.

All of the trash collected is then incinerated, generating power for some Maryland homes.

The company that created the wheel is currently fundraising so Mr. Trash Wheel can have a companion. It’s not having too much trouble coming up with the funds, especially since the original has become something of a local celebrity.

Along with his bottle-munching duties, Mr. Trash Wheel enjoys making t-shirts with his face on it, playing with his pet snake (yes, he has a pet snake named Bindi), creating his very own beer brand, and photoshopping himself into famous movies.

His fans hope people in other riverside cities will consider getting a Mr. Trash Wheel of their own.


Next, read about how giraffes are on their way to “silent extinction” due to American trophy hunting. Then, check out our story on beer-powered cars and the future of energy.

Annie Garau
Annie is a NYC-based writer. For tips, write to [email protected]
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