Don Schendel is retired as an engineer from Motorola but his engineering mind is still hard at work. From his garage in Payson, AZ, Schendel has made all manner of gadgets for himself and his neighbors who have learned that if they need something unique, he can fabricate it.
As a volunteer at the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park just outside of Payson, Schendel noticed a big problem begging for an innovative solution. "One of the park rangers mentioned that they couldn't get to some of the plastic water bottles, soda cans and other refuse that visitors toss over the side of the viewing areas," Schendel explains.
As hard as it is to believe, people will throw their plastic water bottles and other litter down the steep embankments from vantage points that over look some of the most beautiful scenery in Arizona. Schendel scouted out those areas and decided that a good 10-15-ft "grabber pole" should do be able to fetch litter that was too far down for rangers or park volunteers to safely retrieve it on foot.