One of Baltimore’s most famous residents is celebrating his tenth birthday this weekend.

Mr. Trash Wheel, the googly-eyed, solar-powered trash interceptor who sits where the Jones Falls meets the Inner Harbor, has been gobbling garbage for 10 years. The Healthy Harbor Initiative and the Waterfront Partnership are celebrating his 10th anniversary with a sold-out party Saturday night.

Mr. Trash Wheel and his compatriots — Professor Trash Wheel, Captain Trash Wheel and Gwynnda the Good Wheel of the West — are fixtures in Charm City. It can be easy to let them blend into the fabric of daily life in Baltimore without really thinking about their impact.

To honor Mr. Trash Wheel’s birthday, The Banner took a look at what the trash wheel family has accomplished by the numbers.

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5.2 million

The number of pounds of trash and debris the Trash Wheel family has removed from the water, according to The Waterfront Partnership. Anyone is able to view the data collected about how much and what kind of trash the wheels collect.


The estimated number of homes that the Trash Wheel family has powered since the wheels have been installed. Waste collected from the trash wheels is taken to the incinerator in Baltimore, which burns it to generate electricity.

Gwynnda the Good Wheel of the West is the newest trash wheel in Baltimore and has a large trash picker to help with bigger debris. (Courtesy of the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore)


The approximate number of members in “The Order of the Wheel,” a not-so-secret society of Trash Wheel megafans who commit to reducing their use of single-use plastic and cleaning up trash in their communities. Members get a special pin and learn a secret handshake.


The number of square miles of watershed that the Trash Wheel family collects debris from. Mr. Trash Wheel and Gwynnda are both responsible for 60 square miles each, Professor Trash Wheel covers 2 square miles and Captain Trash Wheel has 1 square mile.


The number of boozy beverages that have been created and named in the trash wheels’ honor. There have been three beers: Mr. Trash Wheel’s Lost Python Ale (a personal favorite of this author), Professor Trash Wheel’s Blinded Me Wit Science and Mr. Trash Wheel’s Solar Power Sour.

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There’s also been Mr. Trash Wheel Strawberry Mint Hard Seltzer. All the specialty brews have come from Peabody Heights Brewery.

A pair of Balenciaga sneakers is among the artifacts collected by Mr. Trash Wheel during his ten years of service cleaning up the harbor. (Courtesy of Adam Lindquist)


The number of Balenciaga running shoes that have been collected by Mr. Trash Wheel.

“They came down the Jones Falls together and ended up in Mr. Trash Wheel’s belly,” said Adam Lindquist, of the Waterfront Partnership. Lindquist said the shoes, which will be on display at the “Trashseum” created for Mr. Trash Wheel’s birthday, retail for more than $1,000.


The number of live snakes that have been caught by Mr. Trash Wheel. Yes, really.

Lindquist said ten years ago, just two weeks after installing the not-yet-named trash interceptor, there was a heavy rain that allowed the wheel to thrive — more rain means more trash flowing down waterways.

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He shot a short video, which went viral, and the star known as Mr. Trash Wheel was born.

And now, 10 years later, because of record keeping and data collection, “scientists and policymakers from around the world have used our data to better understand the impacts of plastic on our oceans. We have helped make Maryland the first state to ban foam takeout containers and helped Baltimore City and County ban plastic bags,” Lindquist said.