Harrison County pushes improved clean up equipment - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Harrison County pushes improved clean up equipment

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) -

By Elizabeth Vowell – email

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) – An Oregon inventor has put a new twist on an old product to make oil clean up a little easier.

The Shake'n Fork is a modified rake that sifts through sand to separate oil and tar balls.  The forks are already in use on the shores of Alabama, and Harrison County officials are hoping to bring it here. 

"We've asked USES which is the contractor here. They watched the demonstration and of course they liked it, and they'll just be putting the request in," said Harrison County Emergency Manager Rupert Lacy.

Lacy and Sand Beach Authority Director Bobby Weaver saw what the new forks can do in Alabama and brought a few back to give a demonstration.     

The Shake'n Fork is the brain child of inventor Joseph Berto.  According to Lacy, the As Seen on TV product could make workloads easier for cleanup crews, as well as help preserve the beaches by leaving more sand. 

"Number one goal is to keep the clean sand on our beach, minimize the sand loss, and catch as much of the oil as we can and have it disposed of properly," agreed Weaver.   

There are two versions of the fork: manual and motorized. With manual versions, workers shake the fork to separate the tar ball. However, the motorized version does all the work with a press of a button.

The Harrison County officials also said there is other improved clean up equipment in use in Alabama they would like to bring over as well. 

"There is another piece of equipment over there that separates the oil from the sand and puts the oil in a reusable form, so we're going to push that issue too. Because, if this material can be reused for another purpose, that's where it needs to go, not in a land fill," said Weaver. 

Weaver and Lacy said they hope to have the new forks in workers' hands and shaking within a week.

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