The Economics of Plastic Ocular Devices

Human beings are wonderfully irrational creatures, though (I believe) inherently good.  A trash interceptor was built in Baltimore, Maryland.  It is a solar powered water wheel that scoops garbage out of the river (headed for the inner harbor) into an industrial dumpster, while allowing water to pass through.  

A wonderful idea, that draws out 200 tons of garbage per year at a cost of $850,000.  That's $2.12 per lb per year.  Not bad.  But that's not what this article is about.

This article is about two 3 ft wide plastic eyes.  A relatively minimal share of the 850k, these eyes are mounted atop the trash interceptor transform a piece of machinery into Mr. Trashwheel.  He has a Twitter, an instagram, a series of merch, and additional sibling trash wheels (Dr. Trash wheel and Gwinda:  the good Trashwheel of the West)

It is assumed that the goal of the first trash wheel was to improve water quality in the Chesapeake bay.  We might be tempted to focus on efficiency, however I would argue there is more.  More attention needs to be paid to outside factors to maximize good per dollar.