BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Rocky is coming from Adventure Bay to an adventure soon near you.
The character from the wildly popular kids show PAW Patrol is the new mascot for the Great River Regional Waste Authority. As part of the group’s educational programming on waste and the benefits of recycling, the group thought getting a mascot would help area children relate better to the benefits of recycling and waste handling.
Wade Hamm, general manager of GRRWA, said most kids in the age group he’s looking to educate are familiar with PAW Patrol.
“We were discussing it through our environmental management system. Once you’re EMS you have six core items you have to work on to show continuous improvement and one of them is recycling. We came up with the idea of presentations for different ages of people. Somebody just came up with the idea of what if we had a mascot, and we kicked around the idea of what mascot to get. And every kid I know seven or under knows PAW Patrol and Rocky the Recycler is on PAW patrol so that’s where we got the idea for this particular mascot.”
Rocky will actually be at an event on May 23 at a Fort Madison elementary school as well as a June 24 household hazardous materials presentation at Kempker’s True Value here in Fort Madison.
According to the PAW Patrol website, Rocky is a mix-breed pup that always has handy resources. He’s an enthusiastic recycling dog with a thousand ideas for recycling.
“When we go to the school and make presentations to the younger kids they’ll all associate with this and we think that will help,” Hamm said.
Any youth groups interested in having Rocky come to the school as part of GRWWA presentations should contact the authority at 319-372-6140.
“It’s our plan to get the word out. They always say the younger you get them involved, the more it will carry through,” Hamm said. “We’ll do our best to make arrangements for them.”
The waste authority is a certified EMS and is required to focus on continuous improvement in six benchmarks including yard waste management, water quality improvement, household hazardous waste management, greenhouse gas reduction, recycling services, environmental management education and Hamm said his group added a seventh one, health and safety to the employees and customers.
“This is throughout our planning area not just right here,” he said.
GRRWA is a pubic sector waste authority that serves communities in Lee and Henry County including the cites of Van Buren, Keokuk and Fort Madison.