'Water Goats' gobble up garbage from Bay Area waterways

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At the McKay Bay Nature Preserve in Tampa, a storm drain outflow carries a steady flow of garbage from the streets of Ybor City and it's headed for McKay Bay.  But before it gets there, it's captured by the Water Goat.

"It's been here since June and it's already captured more than 1,300 pounds of trash," explained Christina Arenas of Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful.

The Water Goat isn't an animal with horns. It's a device with buoys and nets that capture trash. Then, every few weeks, the trash is scooped out.

Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful will soon add another Water Goat in the Temple Crest area.

"Year-round we collect over 600,000 pounds of trash. But with this new technology, we're going to far exceed that number," said Debbie Evanson, executive director of Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful.

With such success, we wanted to meet the inventor of the Water Goat. We found Mark Maksimowicz servicing one of his goats at a county park in Pinellas County. He says people have told him that his product is worth millions, but that's not what he's after.

"We don't make a dime. We've never made a dime. It may sound cliche, but it's the right thing to do and it works," Maksimowicz said.

He says Water Goats are in use all over Florida. He says he sells them to nonprofit organizations at-cost -- between $2,400 and $3,000 -- depending on the size. He makes them in Inverness.