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Not all heroes wear capes:

Meet Eco-dog, the recycling border collie

Scruff is a 13-year-old border collie who is making waves with his recycling efforts. This clever dog has collected thousands of plastic bottles on his daily walks, and his community loves him for it!

David Grant and Yvonne Faulkner-Grant adopted Scruff back in 2009. This happy pup loved playing with sticks, but Yvonne was worried about him getting splinters in his mouth. She discouraged Scruff from grabbing sticks on their walks, so he started grabbing plastic bottles instead.

This good boy would excitedly grab a bottle he found on his walk, and then abandon it when he saw a new one. But his owners didn’t feel good about leaving the litter Scruff brought to their attention, so they soon started picking them up after Scruff dropped them to dispose of it properly.

David and Yvonne would count the bottles at the end of each walk with pride in their pet’s part in cleaning up the community. This year, they decided to let everyone in on their dog’s enthusiasm for picking up plastic bottles and hopefully inspire others to action. They took to social media to share Scruff’s journey using the hashtag #scruffsbottlepatrol.

It was a slow start in January with just 40 bottles for the whole month. But we are now nearing the end of the year, and Scruff has gathered more than 1,000 bottles!

Scruff has been granted the title of “Eco-dog,” and some members of the community have joked that he should be working for the council. “Sometimes he collects 15 and sometimes it’s only one—it depends how dirty the streets are that day,” said David. “Someone said to me the other day that not all heroes wear capes and that is exactly what I think Scruff is doing—being a hero.”

The family is currently storing all the bottles on one side of their garden so they can take the final tally of found plastic at the end of the year. Going forward, they plan to recycle the bottles monthly instead of yearly. While Scruff is encouraged to continue his earth-saving efforts, it’s their hope that 2023 has fewer plastic bottles on the ground to begin with thanks to the attention Eco-dog has brought to the cause.

Yvonne and David are proud of Scruff, but while it might be a novelty that a dog can do it, it’s not out of reach for anyone taking a walk around their neighborhood to grab a piece of litter. “If a dog can do it, anyone can.”

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