Catch waste using a water wheel

Mr. Trashwheel, an innovation in Baltimore that catches waste in rivers

Rivers are a major source of plastic waste entering our ocean – especially when it rains. In Baltimore, USA, the city has reimagined the water wheel to catch waste but also engage the local community.

It's estimated that between 1.15 and 2.41 million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean every year via rivers.



  • Sustainably powered by solar and river currents
  • Data from collected items is used to support environmental legislation
  • Beyond just an engineering feet, Mr. Trash Wheel is an educational resource with fan following, helping raise awareness of waste in rivers


  • Currently the sorting technology is unable to separate plastic from other trash, so the waste is incinerated to create energy
  • Requires investment in the technology
  • Requires buy in from relevant authorities

Making a difference

Mr. Trash Wheel has collected 1,356 TONS of trash and debris from the Baltimore River

There are hundreds of other ways to solve plastic pollution