Date of Award


First Advisor

Anne O'Dwyer

Second Advisor

Mike Bergman


The problem of beach trash exists all around the world. Beach trash, such as plastic fragments, cigarettes, and bottle caps are not only on the surface of the beach, but also buried deep in the sand, and in the oceans. The problem of trash on beaches is mainly due to people littering. This thesis aims to examine the impact of littering and the psychological factors effect littering behavior. It also suggests a solution towards littering—specifically, a beach cleaner device is designed and tested. To test the device, many prototypes were made. The results showed that the device worked, and the sand and trash were effectively separated. The final prototype was made using a PVC pipe to make the main body of the device and an electric auger was used as the motor and battery. These results suggest that potential solutions could be found by combining efforts to educate people more about the negative effects of littering, and developing new and improved beach-cleaning devices to clean up beaches in a more efficient way.

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