Beach cleaning sifting fork contact information


Volunteers and friends of the scenic La Jolla "Children's Pool" utilize the Shake'n Rake and Flex'n Fork to clean their beach.

LA JOLLA, CA - MAY 15, 2011 –  When the San Diego Divers, Children's Pool Friends and Adopt a Beach Program met on May 15, they had a some new hand tools, the Equi-Tee Shake'n Rakes.  This small beach is home to visiting seals, and protecting them while offering a safe environment  for swimmers and sun seekers is their goal.  Unfortunately the seals have a habit of leaving their waste, and this lead to frustration and excessive labor in trying to sift it from the sand.  Because of restricted access and proximity to seals, gas powered walk behind machines were out of the question.  An Oregon inventor was contacted and he suggested they try the Equi-Tee Shake'n Rakes.
Volunteer organizer Ken Hunrichs comments, "I used the Shake'n Rake for about two hours and several others used it as well.  Everyone commented that it is a well thought out tool and that does just what we needed with the fine screen insert.  It didn't come close to using up the battery charge and ran strong the entire time," he said.  "Removing small, dry, hard seal waste in dry sand is where it is really outstanding."  He adds "We are finding that a proper order of tool usage really helps our effort.  First we use a common bow garden rake to gather the seaweed and we remove that with pitchfork.  Next we come back with the Flex'n Fork with the Mini-tines to remove the bulk of the seal waste.  Then we use the powered Shake'n Rake with the 1/4 inch screen to do the final cleaning of the material that falls through the wider tines of the Flex'n Fork".
Hunrichs continues, "Two or three of us can clean all the sand on the beach in an hour.  It makes a huge difference to get that stuff off the beach to make this special place more enjoyable to use"!

From Medford KDRV NEWS 12 August 10, 2010

White city inventor designs beach cleaning hand tool used in the Gulf.


By Ron Brown
August 9, 2010
MEDFORD, Ore. - A Rogue Valley company may prove to have the best tool for cleaning up the tons of tarballs scattered on Southeastern U.S. beaches caused by the Gulf oil spill.
While British Petroleum's Gulf oil well is no longer leaking, there is still a great deal of cleanup to be done along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Demand is growing for the Shake'n Fork, a self-sifting fork, originally intended for making the cleaning of horse stalls easier. The plastic fork was designed by White City-based Equi-Tee Manufacturing to separate road apples from straw and sawdust in horse stalls. Inventor Joseph Berto says it is perfect for cleaning beaches too. He says it will separate the tar balls and sludge from the sand.
"When the time came for BP to scale back their operation, they started to look at productivity. And they found that the contractors that were using our product were more productive. And they offered those contractors their 18 month contracts. So for the next 18 months, our products are gonna be used on the Gulf," said Joseph Berto, Sifting Fork Inventor.
Berto says it was almost impossible to get an audition to demonstrate his self-sifting fork, until one contractor saw a YouTube video and internet ad.
Now he expects the fork to gain worldwide acceptance for cleaning resort beaches of cigarette butts and other trash. For more information visit www.shakenfork.com.


YOUTUBE VIDEO coverage of Shake'n Forks at work in Alabama

WLOX News Video coverage of the Shake'n Fork in Mississippi

Harrison County pushes improved clean up equipment

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.

 Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved

PBS NewsHour

OIL SPILL -- July 30, 2010 at 12:58 PM EST

From Gulf Oil Well to Landfill: The Journey of a Tarball

By: Matthew Kielty

Workers clean tarballs from a beach July 20 in Pass Christian, Miss.; Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Tarballs, the marble-like bits of oil that have been washing up on Gulf of Mexico beaches since May, have become one of the most visible byproducts of the oil disaster -- they've hit every Gulf Coast state.

But the sticky gobs of weathered oil aren't new -- they have been a nuisance to beachgoers since the mid 1950s, says National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist Alan Mearns. Natural oil seepages were the primary source of tarballs before commercial shipping began contributing to oil sheens in the ocean. By the 1980s, Mearns says, shipping and natural leaks equally contributed to the amount of tar in oceans.

With the Gulf oil leak, the tarballs have been arriving in greater quantities than before.

On his first trip to the Gulf after the oil hit, President Obama bolstered the recognition of tarballs when he plucked one from the sand of Fourchon Beach in Louisiana.

"These are the tarballs that they're talking about," he said, with one pinched between his fingers.

The president dropped the ball of oil back on the beach where it would sit until a cleanup crew disposed of it, capping the nearly month-long journey and transformation that brought that tarball to rest on the beach.

NOAA scientists Alan Mearns and Glen Watabayashi explain how a Gulf tarball comes into being:

Formation | It takes a month or two for a tarball to form from oil. The process is called weathering, which begins when some of the lighter components of the oil evaporate, leaving behind the heavier stuff. The remaining heavy oil mixes with seawater and begins to look like yogurt, Watabayshi said. As the newly formed slick is bombarded by waves and gusts of wind, it breaks apart into smaller and smaller portions, and the small globs of oil develop a crusty exterior. Those small globs are tarballs.

The tar that forms is similar to asphalt, Mearns says. Like an asphalt road, tarballs are deep black and get sticky when exposed to the sun or high temperatures.

"Probably the largest tarballs, the hardened tarballs, are the parking lots that our cars are sitting on right now," Mearns said.

Travel | After the Gulf oil leak began, the weathering process continued in the open ocean for a month, giving the oil enough time to break apart and form tarballs. Then the winds shifted and the ocean currents carried the tarballs onto coastal state shorelines.

At sea, the tarballs are spread out enough that they're not too noticeable. But once they wash up on land, they're hard to miss.

"Out at sea, you might get one dime-size tarball per ten square meters" said Watabayashi, a lead physical oceanographer for NOAA. "But when they come on the beach, they'll pile up and accumulate -- and then you see them."

Cleanup | Mearns says that most tarball cleanup is done manually, by hand or with shovels.

The Gulf crisis has also spurred adaptation and innovation. The Shake'n Fork was once marketed for manure cleaning -- now, some crews use the motorized sifter to capture tarballs.

Supertanker captain Gerry Matherne invented the Heavy Oil Recovery Device, a contraption he initially called the Tarball Retrieval Device. It's composed of a 3-by-3-aluminum frame and a deep net that is trolled in the water to collect heavy waste, including tarballs.

Finally, bulldozers or tractors can be called in if the amount of tarballs is overwhelming for a manual cleanup crew.

Disposal | After it's removed from beaches, oil waste is sent to staging areas where it's sorted by workers. According to the Environmental Protection Agency's Waste Management Plan, workers label the oil waste and coordinate delivery to a disposal site.

Heritage Environmental Services, which is running staging areas in Louisiana, declined to comment on the specific procedures.

But the Environmental Protection Agency has cleared tarballs for disposal at state-permitted landfills, along with the typical waste a landfill handles. That's because tarballs are less toxic then freshly spilled oil, Mearns says -- time and the weathering process reduce their toxicity.

"The biggest problem with tarballs is their stickiness to things: to people's feet, to birds' beaks and feathers; that's where the primary concern is with tarballs," Mearns said.

Over time, Watabayashi said, he expects the number of tarballs arriving on Gulf Coast beaches to dwindle, but he doesn't know to what level they will return.

"I wouldn't be surprised if six months from now tarballs from the spill are found on a Gulf beach."

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Oil Fouled Beaches Here Forever? Not So Says Specialized Beach Cleaning Fork Maker

Pristine beaches are again possible with a Mini-Tine™ oil removal fork developed by Equi-Tee Manufacturing. Efficient sand sifting design and a selectable basket size empowers workers, enabling superior beach cleanup results. Patented flexible design and unique tine spacing minimizes sand collection, resulting in reduced labor and disposal costs. Click on Sift'n Fork to see the fork in action.

It is ridiculous to employ two men using a five pound shovel, and also lose 2 cups of beach sand, just to pick up a dime size tarball!


Medford, OR (PRWEB) June 22, 2010 -- The unprecedented quantities of oily debris and tarballs washing ashore on pristine southern beaches has prompted governments, cleanup agencies, hotel and beach managers to search for a cost effective tool for oil cleanup. Responding to that need, Equi-Tee Manufacturing now offers their specialized oil cleaning Flex'n Fork™. This fork is optimized to economically and effectively separate the sand from the oil spill debris. Equi-Tee manufactures this unique tarball picking fork with an ideal tine spacing of only 5/16 of an inch so only the tar is captured, leaving more clean sand on the beach.


Equi-Tee Mfg. Flex'n Fork logo
Equi-Tee Mfg. Flex'n Fork logo


Cleaning beaches by hand is a labor intensive and tedious process, especially when picking up tarballs using the traditional hand tool selection of heavy shovels, rakes, screens and bags. "It is ridiculous to employ two men using a five pound shovel, and also lose 2 cups of beach sand, just to pick up a dime size tarball," says Joseph Berto, president of Equi-Tee Manufacturing, the Oregon based company marketing this hand tool. "Taping a kitchen scoop colander on the end of a broomstick as an alternative is getting pretty desperate," he says. "By utilizing light weight Equi-Tee forks, managers will immediately see an increase in worker efficiency and be able to use manpower more effectively."

Equi-Tee sand cleaning forks are constructed from ultra-strong polycarbonate in two different basket sizes. They are mounted to a full length fiberglass shaft with a comfortable ergonomic grip. Unlike tools with wood or metal handles, they don't get hot and withstand repeated immersions in salt water during an oil spill cleanup with no ill effects. They are chemical, oil and salt resistant making them ideal as an oil spill cleaning product. Equi-Tee tarball picking forks function as rakes and shovels, eliminating the need to carry multiple sand cleaning tools. It is completely unnecessary to have one worker shovel up the goo and sand, only to dump it into another workers screen to sift, and then into a bag. With this tarball sifting fork, one worker can do it all! There are no other beach cleaning tools that will sift sand and pick small oil soaked debris as effectively as a Mini-Tine Sift'n Fork.

“Reducing the labor required to clean beaches results in savings for both the worker and their employers. The wasted effort of hoisting and dumping a laden shovel, then agitating a second sifting screen tool, is instead converted into useful productivity. Shorelines are cleaner, tourists are happier, and costs associated with sand replenishment and removal is greatly reduced,” said Berto. “This is an innovative tool that quickly pays for itself.”

Equi-Tee Forks are patented (7,222,899) and are sold worldwide. They have been used and proven in the agricultural industry (for sifting horse waste from stalls and cleaning outdoor pastures), in the pet market and for recreational lake shoreline cleaning where debris or seaweed removal is required. The high tech motorized Shake'n Fork version incorporates an auto-sifting function. They are also used to incorporate oil bio-remediation bacteria into beach sand.

About Equi-Tee™ Manufacturing
Founded in 1998 as an offshoot of Equi-Tee Farm and Fence, the company has already developed other well-known agricultural and forestry accessories such as Equi-Tee horse fencing and Max-flow air filters. Inventor Joseph Berto and his wife operate a horse breeding and training facility in Oregon and when it became clear that there was a need to improve the beach cleaning tools available, Joseph used the resources of the company to develop and test the Equi-Tee Sift'n Forks. The beach cleanup hand tools are manufactured and assembled in the USA by Equi-Tee Manufacturing.


Contact Information:
Equi-Tee Mfg.
Telephone:  (541) 826-8301
10984 Meadows Road, White City,  OR  97503
Copyright © 2007/11 Equi-Tee Mfg Last modified: June 10, 2011

Unbreakable beach cleaning sifting forks from Equi-Tee Mfg.