Batavia Man's Litter Scoop Aids Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), August 2, 2010 | Go to article overview
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Batavia Man's Litter Scoop Aids Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup


Byline: Heather Linder hlinder@dailyherald.com

Batavia may be far from the muck and mess left over from April's Gulf oil rig explosion and subsequent disastrous spill, but one resident's invention is being employed in the cleanup efforts.

With help from the brainchild of Chuck Firth, Gulf crews are ditching some of their typical tools and reaching for a local, feline favorite -- the Durascoop kitty litter scooper.

Texas company Channel Safety Marine Supply, which specializes in supplying Gulf marine operations with safety equipment, is using the Durascoop on Alabama's tar ball-covered beaches.

"We went through the Internet and sourced them out from there," said Tom Hoerner, explaining how his company, which supplies the scoops to cleanup crews, came across Firth's invention with a Google search. "We outfit contractors doing the cleanup and have been involved since a couple of days after this all started."

CSM first contacted Firth May 13, requesting 4,000 Durascoops with one specific plea: Hurry.

Firth keeps a stock of Durascoops in Chicago and was able to get the supply to Texas within a matter of days, and they were on the damaged beaches shortly thereafter.

The purchase of the scoops, which retail for about $15, brought in $25,000 to Firth's business.

"A nice chunk of change," he said.

Firth has heard of customers using his product for other tasks, such as sifting cigarette butts out of public ashtrays, but he never expected them to be used so far out of the cat realm.

"It never occurred to me to be used to clean up tar balls," Firth said.

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