A collection of polystyrene foam ingested by Mr. Trash Wheel, now the property of some lucky eBayer.
A collection of polystyrene foam ingested by Mr. Trash Wheel, now the property of some lucky eBayer. (Adam Lindquist / Waterfront Partnership)

Baltimore’s googly-eyed trash devourer is also a budding eBay entrepreneur. Who knew?

Our city’s tireless cleaner of the harbor and its tributaries has ingested a lot of waterborne debris in his years of diligent work. And some of it is actually worth something, apparently.


In four separate eBay auctions that closed Thursday afternoon, Mr. Trash Wheel and his handlers at the Waterfront Partnership raised more than $300 to help the googly-eyed one continue his mission — not bad for a bunch of stuff previously destined for a landfill somewhere.

“For garbage that we were going to pay to dispose of, raising $300 is phenomenal,” said Adam Lindquist, director of the partnership’s Healthy Harbor Initiative, who took the photographs that accompanied the stuff’s eBay listings. “We occasionally do pick up some weird things,” he added, “and people love it.”

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The hot item was a waterlogged football that had been signed (post-recovery from the city’s waterways) by Ravens kicker supreme Justin Tucker and former Ravens Eugene Monroe and Tyrod Taylor — one of four footballs the players had signed a few years back, Lindquist admitted. The football, which received an impressive 24 bids, went for a respectable $202.50.

A once-water-soaked and clearly-the-worse-for-wear Elmo doll, which the eBay listing warned might be possessed, brought $71 (and heaven help the child expected to play with this thing), while a Louisville Slugger baseball bat went to one lucky bidder for $44.21.

And in the clearest sign that Mr. Trash Wheel is committed to giving people what they want (but definitely don’t need), a collection of polystyrene food packaging (three cups, a container and a piece of indeterminate origin) sold for $20.50, proving indisputably that some people will buy anything. (Three different bidders actually vied for this stuff.)

“Baltimore Harbor (polystyrene foam) should be going extinct soon,” Lindquist said, noting the state’s ban of such materials beginning in 2020. “Maybe it’s got some value.”