Two of Baltimore’s popular solar-powered, garbage-intercepting trash wheels are sporting some new accessories thanks to one of the city’s oldest food manufacturers.
Pompeian, Inc., Baltimore-based maker of olive oil since 1906, and America’s largest brand for olive oil, wine vinegars, and cooking sprays, has “adopted” Mr. Trash Wheel and Professor Trash Wheel for the next year.
The partnership with trash wheel operator Healthy Harbor Initiative means that Pompeian will fund the collection and removal of some 250 tons of trash and debris from the Baltimore harbor, both at the Jones Falls outfall and at Harris Creek along Boston Street in Canton.
The partnership also means that both trash wheels now have green eyes, will be lit up in Pompeian’s signature green at night, and their wheels are decorated with cute, spinning olive branches.
Pompeian, whose headquarters are about two miles northeast of Professor Trash Wheel’s post, is also putting up $25,000 to support a Community Cleanup and Beautification grants program for East Baltimore.
“We are grateful to Pompeian for their commitment to Baltimore—and their support in keeping the trash wheels churning. With Pompeian’s support we can build upon our longstanding commitment to the communities in East Baltimore by helping to bring creative, community-led projects to life that will beautify neighborhoods and improve water quality,” says Adam Lindquist, director of the Healthy Harbor Initiative for the Waterfront Partnership.
The grants program, which launched this spring, has already starting giving out grants up to $5,000 to community members—for projects like an elementary school composter and rain barrel, an alley makeover, a community cleanup and live concert series. Proposals are still being accepted on a rolling basis. The grants program also hopes to incorporate environmental boat tours of the waterfront.
Pompeian employees are getting opportunities to help restore the Inner Harbor, from oyster gardening to community cleanups.
If you think the olive-festooned trash wheels are fun, you can take a selfie with Mr. Trash Wheel (just east of the National Aquarium), tag Mr. Trash Wheel and Pompeian, and enter to with a prize pack from the two.
“Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is the heart of our community, and since 1906, the gateway for the farmer crafted olive oils we bring to Americans from around the world,” said Mattan Sharvit, corporate social responsibility manager at Pompeian. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore and have the opportunity to support the cleanup efforts of the harbor that enables us to continue our mission of helping people Eat and Live Well.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Pompeian, they have a visitor center that opened in 2017 and has hosted hundreds of visitors for educational events for local schools and community groups. Tours may be scheduled at pompeian.com.
–Meg Walburn Viviano