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November 19, 2013 > MRFyÕs in town!

MRFyÕs in town!

One of NewarkÕs newest residents spent part of his first day around the area, Friday, November 15, 2013, getting acquainted and making friends at Lincoln Elementary School. Following an introduction to the entire student body, MRFy (ÒMurphyÓ) was definitely a hit and left the campus with a big smile and plenty of fans. MRFy is part of the Republic Services family that includes two siblings that live in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, all ambassadors for Republic Services Recycling efforts. Born from recycled and recyclable materials, MRFy is actually an acronym for recycling collection and sorting stations called ÒMaterial Recovery Facilities.Ó MRFy visits schools and public gatherings to spread the word about the importance of recycling efforts to preserve and protect the environment.

As part of an operating agreement between Newark and Republic Services for recycling services, MRFy is a component of public outreach efforts that include education and information for all consumers Ð adults and children. MRFyÕs bright personality, distinctive appearance and lively demeanor are natural attention magnets for everyone he meets.

In his introduction to Lincoln Elementary students and teachers, MRFyÕs audience watched with joy and excitement as he maneuvered, sang and danced. Responding to voice commands and unfettered by wires or cords, MRFy is able to effortlessly interact with audiences, leading cheers and answering questions. The message of what can be recycled and how to do it was clear and well received; MRFy identified recyclable items such as newspapers, milk bottles, cereal boxes (stopping for a quick snack of the contents) and soda cans. Students were nearly unanimous in positive responses to questions of whether they knew about and practiced recycling practices. Prior to MRFyÕs live appearance, students watched a video that featured MRFy and took them on a Òroller coasterÓ ride through the collection, sorting and reuse cycle of recycling materials.

So far, the Bay Area MRFy has been nurtured by veteran Republic Services professional Steven De Stefano who was instrumental in his construction, but will continue to meet fellow citizens under the guidance of NewarkÕs Republic Recycling Representative Adam Gorske. De Stefano says MRFy was created from a collection of materials; Òhis frame is composed of cyclone fencing, the light is a carpenterÕs light, wheelchair wheels, casters from recycling containers are also part of MRFy.Ó At one point of his presentation, MRFy temporarily sacrifices one of his arms to demonstrate the nature of his body parts.

When MRFy is resting from a full schedule of appearances, attention to his body and program of about 65 different routines and interactive banter with audiences can be time consuming. Depending on the size and age of the audience, MRFy can project a message on his screen, lead students to mimic robot movements and ÒsaluteÓ recycling. As MRFy finished posing for pictures with students, teachers and Principal Angela Ehrlich, he bid adieu to Lincoln Elementary School, assuring everyone that the Lincoln Leopards were at the top of his list of favorite schools and he hoped they would put his recycling priorities at the top of their priority list as well.

Want to see MRFy in action? Visit:

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