Keep Ohio Beautiful was awarded, through a Keep America Beautiful grant, its new tool to fight litter along Ohio's north coast. The BeBot, electric & solar-powered, beach-cleaning robot that will be drawing attention to all the marine debris lurking just beneath the beach surface.
Overseen by Keep Ohio Beautiful, the BeBot will visit locations around Lake Erie and inland beaches with our local affiliate network and other statewide partners. The remote-controlled robot collects small pieces of litter — cigarette butts, plastic straws, bottle caps, food wrappers and more.
The BeBot sifts through the sand, going 2 inches down, to find debris left by humans. The robot's purpose is mainly to raise awareness about hidden trash that eventually winds up in Lake Erie and the Ohio River.
The BeBot, about the size of riding lawnmower, uses its large black treads that roll over the beach. A metal grate at the rear shakes and vibrates, sifting through the sand and transferring larger particles of trash into a back compartment. After BeBot dumps its collection onto a blue tarp, volunteers will then be able sort the trash and conduct a waste audit.
The BeBot robot was designed by The Searial Cleaners, a French waste management company and a subsidiary of Poralu Marine, a Canadian marina construction and consulting company. The Keep Ohio Beautiful litter robot is one of only 10 in the United States, with similar models worldwide. It is fully electric, weighs more than 1,300 pounds and can clean up to 32,000 square feet in an hour — about the size of seven basketball courts.
The BeBot will join Keep Ohio Beautiful's other litter prevention tools to fight marine debris and plastic pollution in our Great Lake. These include the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program's Ash Receptacle program and our four (4) Seabins currently located at Marinas in Geneva, Lorain, Huron and South Bass Island. Seabins act as floating litter skimmers (or small floating garbage cans), their slow suction helps remove trash & microplastics that pollute our waterways.
BeBot’s main purpose is to raise awareness about the smaller pieces of trash and plastics that often go overlooked, not to replace human cleanups.