Robot encourages Dorchester county students to recycle

By Matt Horton bio | email

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Dorchester County Council has added a new member to their environmental committee -- Curby, the recycling robot.

Curby, who stands a little more than three feet tall and is manipulated by remote control, is the result of a nationally awarded $10,000 grant provided by "Keep America Beautiful."  The organization, which funds education and environmental initiatives, boasts more than 1,600 affiliates around the country. Dorchester County and the "Keep Dorchester County Beautiful" program was one of just 15 to be awarded funding during 2009.

"He [Curby] will be the kind of educational tool that visits classrooms," said Dorchester County waste management employee Mark Muckenfuss.

County council representative Carolyn Tomlinson says the county has been working on environmental education in elementary schools for the past 13 years.  With Curby, Tomlinson hopes to continue to provide environmental awareness to students of all ages.

"A lot of middle and high school aged kids are interested in robotics," said Tomlinson.  "This will show [students] that yes, recycling can be fun."

Tomlinson says that in the past seven years alone, the number of Dorchester county residents engaging in recycling has gone up 25 percent.  As it stands, recyclables are picked up weekly in Dorchester county.

"We hope to excite more kids with Curby, so they go home and teach their parents," said Muckenfuss.  "We'd like to see an eventual increase in service, more than weekly."

Curby is set to begin visiting classrooms later this Spring.

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