Who lives on a trash wheel in the Gwynns Falls? SpongeBob SquarePants!
Yes, SpongeBob and his best friend, Patrick Star, have departed Bikini Bottom to live with Gwynnda the Good Wheel of the West. Paramount and Nickelodeon will sponsor the wheel’s trash collection through 2023, the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore announced Friday.
Two metal printouts of SpongeBob and Patrick Star high-fiving were placed on Gwynnda’s wheel.
Gwynnda was installed two years ago as the fourth member of Baltimore’s trash wheel family. She has big purple eyes and a love for astrology, and she is located at the mouth of the Gwynns Falls in Southwest Baltimore.
Now, she will be funded by a sustainability initiative launched by Paramount called SpongeBob SquarePants: Operation Sea Change, which aims to divert 5 million pounds of plastic pollution from oceans over the next four years. It also promotes sustainable products and educates people about plastic pollution in the ocean, according to its website.
The entertainment company has partnered with nonprofits around the world on the project, said Adam Lindquist, vice president of the Healthy Harbor Initiative at Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore.
Its sponsorship of Gwynnda is “a lot of fun” and also “a real validation, not just of the trash wheel technology, which was invented here in Baltimore, but also Waterfront Partnership’s really unique and engaging approach to cleaning up our waterways,” Lindquist said. “I think it’s clear that Paramount and Nickelodeon were interested in not just our ability to pick up plastic but also our approach to put giant googly eyes on them and to give them personalities.”
With the announcement, all four trash wheels are sponsored, which helps to keep them churning, Lindquist said.
Mr. Trash Wheel and Professor Trash Wheel have been adopted by Pompeian Olive Oil, a Baltimore-based company, while Captain Trash Wheel is owned and operated by the Maryland Port Administration.
The cost of maintaining and operating each trash wheel is “not insignificant,” Lindquist said.
“And these sponsorships really go a long way towards covering a huge amount of the operation and maintenance costs that the Waterfront Partnership incurs every year,” he said.