Docent Helps in Unique Way

You have probably interacted with one of our docents at the “Z-wall” or recycling wall, and may have had questions answered or been given help with your recycling. One of our docents has found a special way to help out.

The docents often have to drag out items tossed into the mixed recycling bins that do not belong there. Mostly, that means intact plastic bags, often filled with trash rather than mixed recycling items. As you know, those recycling bins are both deep and wide. We found that we did not have a good tool to make it possible to keep the mixed recycling bins as clean as possible.

Rob Wilson is a docent who also is a mechanical engineer. When he heard about our needs, he translated that into tools he designed and created. The two best designs are an extendable pole (like a fishing pole) with a sharp point on it; and a “pigtail” of metal—the point pierces the box or bag, and the pigtail allows us to twist it for a secure grip on the item. If we can get it to the close edge of the box, we have other “brute” tools to drag it out.

There have been times when we’ve needed to extract some small, lightweight item and, invariably, it was too far away or at the bottom of the bin. Rob took a “grabber” tool that people use to take down items off a high shelf, and modified it into a 10-foot long grabber tool. We’ve found it great for removing lightweight items like plastic film. We may send Rob “back to the drawing board” if we need a stronger and more durable tool – he is up to the challenge, and we all salute him for his creativity. Thank you, Rob.

(Photo: Rob Wilson and ORS Administrator, Rinda McGarry)