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Baltimore’s Trash Wheel family will be welcoming another member next year.

Yet to be named, the fourth googly-eyed member of the Trash Wheel family will debut in the spring, officials with the Waterfront Partnership’s Healthy Harbor Initiative announced Monday. The trash-collecting aquatic vessel will be stationed at the mouth of the Gwynns Falls, where it will concentrate on intercepting solid waste before the junk makes it to the Patapsco River and the Chesapeake Bay.

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“We’ve had our googly eyes set on the Gwynns Falls for a long time,” said Adam Lindquist, director of the Healthy Harbor Initiative. “An estimated 400 tons of litter and debris flow into the Middle Branch each year. This new trash wheel will mean cleaner shorelines and less plastic in the Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay.”

Healthy Harbor announced plans for the Gwynns Falls trash wheel in 2017 and sought to fundraise $770,000. According to a news release, funding for the new wheel will come from state and local governments, Middle Branch property owners and the nonprofit South Baltimore Gateway Partnership, among others.

The Gwynns Falls trash wheel will be the largest ever built, complete with a grappling arm to help move large debris and a canopy covered with 72 solar panels. Using solar and hydro power, a series of rakes and a conveyor belt will lift trash from the water and dump it into a barge. The trash wheel is being built by Clearwater Mills, the Anne Arundel County-based company that invented the technology.

The googly-eyed Mr. Trash Wheel made his debut in May 2014.
The googly-eyed Mr. Trash Wheel made his debut in May 2014. (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

The Waterfront Partnership is asking for the public’s help in naming the latest addition to the Trash Wheel family, which arrived in Baltimore in May 2014 when Mr. Trash Wheel was installed at the mouth of the Jones Falls. He was joined in December 2016 by Professor Trash Wheel, at the mouth of Harris Creek, and in June 2018 by Captain Trash Wheel at Masonville Cove. To date, the three have collected more than 1,200 tons of trash and debris, including more than 11 million cigarette butts, 1 million foam containers, nearly 650,000 plastic bags and close to 900,000 plastic bottles.

Suggestions for the new Trash Wheel’s name can be submitted at MrTrashWheel.com.

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