Support Trappy the Trash Trap Dinosaur

Among the trash and debris hauled in by the Chicago River Trash Trap this year was a small plastic toy dinosaur, which Mike McElroy of Wendella Tours & Cruises, who regularly empties the trap, crowned as the trap’s official mascot and named the dinosaur, Trappy. 

Trappy is emblematic of the kinds of things – large and small – that make their way into the river system; and Trappy is plastic, which research shows accounts for upwards of 80 percent of the trash found in the river.

We have come to embrace Trappy as a fun mascot who will help to inform people of all ages about the importance of crafting good policy for reduction strategies that address the persistent problem of litter and encourage new behaviors. It’s all part of our multi-pronged Litter Free Chicago-Calumet River initiative which is designed to inspire on the ground efforts and good public policy. Trappy will help by getting to know students at the Chicago River Student Congress, as an inspiration for the WM Poster Contest, and as a temporary tattoo that reminds us all to reduce our use of disposable and plastic items. You can meet Trappy here on our YouTube Channel.

As the last day of 2023 draws near, you can celebrate Trappy and our Litter Free initiative with a tax deductible 2023 gift to Friends. All donations will receive a Trappy temporary tattoo.

We have plenty of other options for you to consider too: celebrate the wildlife of the river system by symbolically adopting a catfish, osprey, or painted turtle; provide a gift membership of any size to a friend or loved one which helps sustain our mission all year long; or purchase a ticket and join us for a memorable at the 2024 Ice Odyssey Cruise, an unparalleled opportunity to experience the beauty of the river in winter.

Any of these contributions made by December 31, 2023 will qualify for the 2023 tax year, so please donate today. If you have an IRA and are over 73 years old, you may be eligible to make a qualified charitable distribution directly to Friends for all or part of your required minimum distribution. – up to $100,000 can be donated pre-tax. More information is available on

Thank you for considering a year-end gift.