Remote-Controlled Robots Are Preventing Post-Fourth of July Trash Disasters

By: Sam Watanuki | Published: Jul 05, 2024

Every year, beaches become popular spots for Fourth of July celebrations. Unfortunately, these festivities often leave behind significant amounts of trash.

To combat this issue, local organizations have introduced innovative solutions to keep the beaches clean.

The Problem with Beach Litter

Post-July 4th trash poses a serious environmental threat. Leftover litter can harm wildlife and pollute waterways.

A photograph of a plastic bottle floating in the ocean

Source: Freepik

For one ambitious group, traditional cleanup methods were not enough to tackle the problem effectively. Steps Up

Masonboro Island faced the risk of being closed due to excessive litter after the Fourth of July.

An aerial view of many people on a beach in 2023 during a historic heatwave, many under umbrellas and in the water.

Source: Buda Mendes/Getty Images, a volunteer-led group, was formed to address this problem. They distribute trash cans and bags to visitors, ensuring no trash is left behind.

A New Approach on Carolina Beach

Carolina Beach adopted a high-tech solution to their litter problem.

BeBot on beach being remote controlled

Source: BeBot

Keep New Hanover Beautiful introduced the BeBot, a remote-controlled beach-sweeping robot, to clean up trash buried in the sand.

How the BeBot Works

The BeBot sifts through the sand, collecting trash and small plastics. This robot holds the trash until it can be sorted and disposed of properly.

Shoreline in Broward County, Florida, where there is a high risk of rising sea levels

Source: Michele Eve Sandberg/Corbis/Getty Images

It ensures beaches remain clean without disturbing the natural environment.

Protecting Wildlife with the BeBot

One of the significant benefits of the BeBot is its ability to clean without harming local wildlife.

An image of a giant turtle swimming in the ocean

Source: Wikimedia

Keep New Hanover Beautiful collaborates with the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project to ensure sea turtle nests are not disturbed during cleanups.


Community Insight

Veda Lewin, vice chairperson for Keep New Hanover Beautiful, emphasized the importance of clean beaches.

Many people seen on the beach under umbrellas in the daytime.

Source: Alexandre Perotto/Unsplash

“Everyone wants a clean beach obviously, but a lot of the things we collect look a lot like food to our wildlife,” she explained.


Community Involvement on Masonboro Island

Jack Kilbourne, co-founder of, shared the importance of community involvement. By being present during celebrations, volunteers help ensure the island remains pristine.

Trash floats in through water as waves ripple.

Source: Xianyu Hao/Unsplash

“Since we’ve been here, there’s not been a piece of trash leftover after the Fourth of July celebration,” he said.


The Role of Volunteers

Volunteers play a crucial role in these cleanup efforts.

The hands of two families in the center of a table.

Source: @drjgoldblatt/X

They help distribute trash bags and cans, and participate in post-celebration cleanups, making a significant difference in maintaining the beauty of the beaches.


The Environmental Impact

Keeping beaches clean has a broader environmental impact.

Underwater Photography of Ocean

Source: Jeremy Bishop/Pexels

It prevents litter from entering the ocean, protecting marine life and ensuring a healthier ecosystem for all.


Future Plans for the BeBot

The success of the BeBot has led to plans for its continued use.

A beach on the Baltic Sea seen during sunset.

Source: Piotr Majcher/Unsplash

It will be deployed on Carolina Beach and Wrightsville Beach after major holidays, ensuring these popular spots remain litter-free.


A Cleaner Future

Thanks to innovative solutions like the BeBot and dedicated community efforts, the future looks bright for our beaches.

A beach filled with people playing on the sand and swimming in the sea

Source: Kazuo Ota/Unsplash

These initiatives not only preserve the beauty of these natural spaces but also protect the environment for future generations to enjoy.