NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Keeping garbage out of the ocean isn't easy. So enter Mr. Trash Wheel, the 70-square-foot barge gobbling up garbage by the ton to keep the beach and ocean pristine.

Trash in the streets ends up in the river and then from the river, the ocean.

Hoping to reduce the amount of trash making it to the ocean, Newport Beach is set to become the first west coast city to use a water wheel system to scoop up trash headed toward Upper Newport Bay.

"We really need to knock that trash load down. This is not going to be a silver bullet, it's not going to get everything, but it's going to get a big slug of stuff," said John Kappeler, a senior engineer for the city of Newport Beach.

The idea comes from The Mr. Trash Wheel Family operating in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

A collection of four water wheels have scooped up more than 2,000 tons of trash and debris since 2014.

The newest is Gwynnda, which is expected to collect more trash and debris each year than the three other wheels combined.

"No one ever had stopped the trash before and that trash wheel was actually undersized. That was the first time and we were like, 'Oh my God there's so much trash here we need a much larger device,'" said Adam Lindquist, the VP of Environmental Programs for the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore.

The solution uses the water's current for power when possible and solar power when necessary to collect litter and debris.

Given the success in Baltimore, Newport City officials estimate the system could capture as much as 80% of the trash and debris from the San Diego Creek, preventing it from flowing into the Upper Newport Bay, a Nature Preserve home to several endangered species.

"We can't walk around the native habitat and the native birds, we're doing more damage than good trying to pick up the plastic bottles, so this is going to be key to that success," Kappeler said.

The 17-foot-tall wheel on a 70-square-foot barge will be permanently docked 800 feet upstream of the Upper Newport Bay and will corral trash flowing from upstream communities along the San Diego Creek, but Kappeler said it is not intended to be the only solution.

"We can try to figure out what we're capturing and we can go upstream and maybe talk to those cities or entities and try to do better source control and just limit the amount of trash that comes down here," he said.

The trash wheel will be in a location that doesn't see a lot of human activity, but don't think, "out of sight, out of mind," because another thing learned from Baltimore is that the Trash Wheel can be the face of a campaign to keep trash out of the water in the first place.

"We all know that we're just treating a symptom of the problem and that's why we turned Mr. Trash Wheel into more of an outreach and behavior change campaign. And we use the data and the photos from everything we collect to help pass legislation," Lindquist said.

Newport Beach officials say with luck, the wheel will be operational by 2023.

Other cities, including Seal Beach, Los Angeles and San Francisco, have expressed interest and contacted them about the details.