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Baltimore's trash wheels are forming a (not so) secret society

Baltimore's trash wheels are forming a (not so) secret society
Professor Trash Wheel (pictured) and her companion Mr. Trash Wheel are forming a secret society, the Order of the Wheel. (Andrea K. McDaniels / Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore’s trash wheel family already has its own beers, googly eyes and fervent internet following. Now, add secret society to the list.

Mr. Trash Wheel, the anthropomorphic debris-collecting water wheel in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, posted on Facebook soliciting members for The Order of the Wheel.

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“In the sixteenth century, a prominent Order of the Wheel member named Nostragarbage predicted that there would come a machine to help free the world from rubbish and save the oceans,” the group’s edict on its website reads. “The Order of the Wheel has been waiting in secret for centuries for such a machine. Now, lo and behold the Great Trash Wheel has come and the Order of the Wheel has been revived.”

According to the website, prospective Order of the Wheel members will have to complete five tasks that “demonstrate their commitment to a clean, trash free environment” by May 5. (A caveat: You must share your completed task on social media with the hashtag #OrderOfTheWheel. So it sounds like this secret society isn’t going to be so secret.)

Membership will earn you perks such as a special pin, special access to Trash Wheel merchandise and events, and knowledge of the all-important secret handshake. 

Mr. Trash Wheel has collected more than 1 million pounds of trash since it was installed at the mouth of the Jones Falls in May 2014. Its companion, Professor Trash Wheel, came to Canton in 2016. 

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