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2023 RecycleBot Challenge Winners Announced

Rutherford County Third-Graders Treated to Chimney Rock State Park Family Passes


Roxi With Sunshine RecycleBots
Roxi the Raccoon surveys the entries in person during Sunshine Elementary’s Heritage Day celebration.

Rutherford County, NC - May 2, 2023:


The votes have been tallied and recounted and the winners for the 2023 RecycleBot Challenge have been chosen! In honor of “Earth Month” (April), Keep Rutherford County Beautiful asked Rutherford County third graders to make their very own robot out of used materials to help out mascots, Roxi and Rocki the Racoon recycle and save the earth. This year had the highest level of participation yet.


Keep Rutherford County Beautiful (KRCB) was thrilled to have the broad and creative field of over 130 entries from Rutherford County third-graders. It made for a tough, but impressive judging process. Judges included KRCB Executive Director Jenna Bailey; Secretary and Treasurer Taylor Hardin; Marketing & Education Committee Chair Amanda Byers; board members Maddie Summers and Clark Poole; committee members Allegra Lucas, Elizabeth Randall, James Kilgo and Shelley Roberts; as well as mascots Roxi and Rocki Raccoon. The winners of the ‘Fan Favorite’ category were selected by the Facebook community, collecting hundreds of votes.


“I was absolutely thrilled to see this year’s participation,” said Amanda Byers, Marketing & Education Committee Chair, “Judging these bots was a tough job because there were so many unique and creative submissions. You could really see the hard work and thought process behind these creations. This year’s third graders understood the assignment and created robots that stand behind KRCB’s mission!”

There were so many creative RecycleBots this year that the committee decided to add two new categories to the original seven. Three RecycleBots were selected as the Best-of-the-Best in nine categories: Most Unique (good message, fun, unusual items), Best Use of Plastic and/or Styrofoam, Best Use of Paper and/or Textiles, Best Use of E-Waste (metal, aluminum foil, electronics), Most Creative (good imagination or original ideas), Fan Favorite (based on Facebook votes), Roxi’s Picks, Rocki’s Picks, and Best Overall (Bot and Story).


Fan Favorite Lincoln
“Bot on the Spot” the RecycleBot by Lincoln Martin at Trinity Christian School took first place as Fan Favorite

Winners for Fan Favorite (based on facebook votes)


3rd Place / “Robo” the RecycleBot at Cliffside Elementary School


2nd Place / Siobhan Hamby with “Milky Way” the RecycleBot at Rutherfordton Elementary School


1st Place / Lincoln Martin with “Bot on the Spot” the RecycleBot at Trinity Christian School

What does “Bot on the Spot” do? Bot on the Spot travels the world making sure that people recycle their trash. If they don’t he reports them to Santa, the tooth fairy, and Easter Bunny.

What materials were used? Cardboard box, pringle cans, tissue

Roxi Pick Skylar
“G.R.E.G.” the RecycleBot by Skylar Langley at Sunshine Elementary School took first place as Roxi’s Pick

Winners for Roxi’s Picks

3rd Place / Emilee Beheler with “Marie-Grace” the RecycleBot at Sunshine Elementary School


2nd Place / Daniel Friday with “Skipper” the RecycleBot at Rutherfordton Elementary School


1st Place / Skylar Langley with “G.R.E.G.” the RecycleBot at Sunshine Elementary School

What does “G.R.E.G.” do? Hi my name is Greg. I am a recycle bot. I travel around the globe locating litter at different depths in the ground. Once identified the litter can be recycled.

What materials were used? cereal box, plastic cups, pipe cleaners



Rockis Pick Jana
“Yana Bear” the RecycleBot by Jana Baldwin at Cliffside Elementary School took first place as Rocki’s Pick

Winners for Rocki’s Picks


3rd Place / Ava Delvecchio with “Kiwi” the RecycleBot at Rutherfordton Elementary School


2nd Place / Bonnie Martin with “Rosa” the RecycleBot at Cliffside Elementary School


1st Place / Jana Baldwin with “Yana Bear” the RecycleBot at Cliffside Elementary School

What does “Yana Bear” do? Yana Bear cleans the beach in space.


What materials were used? bottles, big boxes, pom pom, beads, glitter, cans, paint, googly eyes, paper


Winners for Best Use of E-Waste

Best Use Of E-Waste Jasmine
“Roberta” the RecycleBot by Jasmine Rodriguez at Cliffside Elementary School took first place as Best Use of E-Waste

3rd Place / Noah Smith with “Recycle King” the RecycleBot at Sunshine Elementary School


2nd Place / Willis Cooper with “Bob” the RecycleBot at Pinnacle Elementary School


1st Place / Jasmine Rodriguez with “Roberta” the RecycleBot at Cliffside Elementary School

What does “Roberta” do? Roberta recycles by picking up fabric that is old and makes new ones to make clothes for you and people who need them.

What materials were used? Cans, string, nails and paint.



Best Use of Paper Serenity
“Mrs. Clean/Ray R/Fley” the RecycleBot by Serenity Fearing at Cliffside Elementary School took first place as Best Use of Paper and/or Textiles

Winners for Best Use of Paper and/or Textiles


3rd Place / Carter Hawkins with “Blitz” the RecycleBot at Cliffside Elementary School


2nd Place / Zoey Rumfelt with “Luna Hopper” the RecycleBot at Sunshine Elementary School


1st Place / Serenity Fearing with “Mrs. Clean/Ray R/Fley” the RecycleBot at Cliffside Elementary School

What does “Mrs. Clean” do? Cleans the sea and put it in the bucket and then clean the beach then clean the floor of the sea and the road when she is done then she will go home then come back and do some more work every day and recycling it in the trachsh everyday at the end of the day.

What materials were used? Box, caps, fishnits, mony, hot glue, pipe cleneers, lemonade box


Winners for Best Use of Plastic and/or Styrofoam

Best Use of Plastic Evyn
“Harper” the RecycleBot by Evyn Crowder at Rutherfordton Elementary School took first place as Best Use of Plastic

3rd Place / Josiah Bolt with “PRIME” the RecycleBot at Trinity Christian School


2nd Place / Grayson Dale with “Prime Man” the RecycleBot at Trinity Christian School


1st Place / Evyn Crowder with “Harper” the RecycleBot at Rutherfordton Elementary School

What does “Harper” do? Harper picks up trash at the park and recycles it into playground equipment. Like slides and swings. Harper pushes you on the swings. Harper plays football with me.

What materials were used? Peanut butter and cracker jar and water bottle and glue sticks.



Most Unique Cora
“Toadmouth” the RecycleBot by Cora Harding at Acorn Hill Academy took first place as Most Unique

Winners for Most Unique


3rd Place / Russell Yelton with “James” the RecycleBot at Sunshine Elementary School


2nd Place / Deborah Archer with “Love O Bot” the RecycleBot at Rutherfordton Elementary School


1st Place / Cora Harding with “Toadmouth” the RecycleBot at Acorn Hill Academy

What does “Toadmouth” do? He has a disc he throws to open a portal where litter needs to be picked up. The beacon on his head tells him when he is near trash. He has a bird nest on his shoulder to provide a home for displaced birds due to deforestation. He can store glass recyclables in his belly compartment where they are processed into sand that can be used for paths, dun rebuilding, sandbags and more!

What materials were used? Syrup bottle, cardboard box, glass jar, cans


Winners for Most Creative (good imagination or original ideas)

Most Creative Kelsie
“Cupcake” the RecycleBot by Kelsie Vassey at Trinity Christian School took first place as Most Creative

3rd Place / “Spirit” the RecycleBot at Cliffside Elementary School


2nd Place / Skylar Bumgarner with “Lovedump” the RecycleBot at Sunshine Elementary School


1st Place / Kelsie Vassey with “Cupcake” the RecycleBot at Trinity Christian School

What does “Cupcake” do? She picks up trash in a recycled trash can that she is holding and you can also store trash in her head. Cupcake is holding a fairy in the other hand. If you give her trash she can recycle it by using her magic.

What materials were used? laundry container, pizza box, tissue box, nerds box, and toilet paper rolls.



Best Overall Dominic
“Helpy” the RecycleBot by Dominic Pruitt at Cliffside Elementary School took first place as Best Overall

Winners for Best Overall (Bot and Story)


3rd Place / Aliyah Hudson with “Odea” the RecycleBot at Sunshine Elementary School


2nd Place / Brenlee Huckabee with “Smores” the RecycleBot at Sunshine Elementary School


1st Place / Dominic Pruitt with “Helpy” the RecycleBot at Cliffside Elementary School

What does “Helpy” do? Helpy picks up litter to help animals, people, insects, plants from ruining the ecosystem. Trash can be harmful to the environment. It can harm habitats in water, land, and even air.

What materials were used? Boxes, bottles, and toilet paper rolls.


Winners received family passes to Chimney Rock State Park, coupons for McDonald's Happy Meals and coupons for free ice cream from Scoop.


Every third-grader who submitted a RecycleBot in the challenge received an official RecycleBot sticker and a paper leaf seed packet to plant. We would like to acknowledge all the third-graders who entered the 2023 RecycleBot Challenge by listing them below by School & Teacher.


Acorn Hill Academy

Cora Harding


Cliffside Elementary School

Mrs. Kimbrell: Jana Baldwin, Alleya Coffey, Cayden Cosner, Serenity Fearing, Nicholas Lee, Bonnie Martin, Dominic Pruitt, Jasmine Rodriguez

Mrs. McAbee: Sammie Biddix, Owen Brown, Ariana Cordova, Gabriela Hernandez-Cordova, Carter Hawkins, Henry Hernandez, Kaylee Lopez, Kenneth Lankford, Sarah Pardue, Aubrey Reep, Avah Seabrook, Anthony Sutton, Corban Queen


Pinnacle Elementary School

Mrs. Hutchins: Eva Alderman, Collin Chapman, Willis Cooper, George Duncan, Olivia Eubanks, Leland Ferree, Victoria Flack, Eve Hulse, Blake Jones, Henry Jones, Peyton Jackson, Madison Maudlin, Timothy Osborne, Silas Padgett, Jonah Roberston, Emily Smith, Joanna Watson, Ralph Willis, Brielle Zachrich

Mrs. Summey: Mack Buchanan, Allana Conner, Aiden Hamrick, Colin Keeter, Ubi Lopez, Riley Lovelace, Izzy Mathes, Ms. E


Rutherfordton Elementary School

Mrs. Horne: Peyton Bjella, Charlotte Campbell, Evyn Crowder, Daniel Friday, Fisher Gray, Reagan Jones, Reid Jones, Garrett Kuhl, Jack Lowry, Aaron Sullivan, Carter Stradford Mrs. McCraw: Deborah Archer, Carson Bandieri, Emory Barrick, Katherine Connor, Tessa Gaddy, Jace Gowan, Josey Grna, Brantley Hart, Brendan Hunt, Rily Lowe, Emillia Moore, Brenden Page, Andrew Searcy, Austin Swafford, Jaxxton Swepson, Khloe Tipton Mrs. Beattie: Mia Brockf, Ben Connor, Lillie Cooper, Alejandro De La Cruz, Ava Delvecchio, Elijah Holt, Emma Jackson, Colin Link, Oliver Lyles, Jordan Lynch, Xavier Lynch, Ryleigh McLean, Maddox Plot, Guadalupe Rivera, Faune Roche, Jaden York Mrs. Hodge: Brantley Coley, Jade Chavez, Piper Duncan, Siobhan Hamby, Joshua Horne, Jeremiah Jackson, Charlee Jaskowiak, Tony Matheny, Stephen Mask, Collin Messer, Jose Streeter, Suri Ross


Sunshine Elementary School

Mrs. Davis: Claire Baker, Ginger Blankenship, Brennigan Bradford, Skylar Langley, Aliyah Hudson, Hunter Dukes, Tara Maloney, Cam Jacob Raye, Charlie Jacob Stepp, Kayden Wilson,

Mrs. Harris: Emilee Beheler, Skylar Bumgarner, Harper Eaker, Brenley Huckabee, Hunter Hurdt, Aden Powell, Aubrey Putman, Zoey Rumfelt, Noah Smith, Bentley Vanbuskirk, Russell Yelton


Trinity Christian School

Mrs. Crowe: Josiah Bolt, Kaden Bright, Grayson Dale, Jaxon Greene, Alex Johnson, Benji Jones, Nicolas Jennings, Jaxon Jones, Lincoln Martin, Zachary McKeithan, Elyse Nichols, Hunter Self, Colton Ware, Caleb Vassey, Kelsie Vassey


A heartfelt thank you goes out to all involved. This would not be possible without the support of the KRCB Committee, the participation from our public & private school systems, their teachers, the students' parents, and the donations from our prize sponsors. To see all 130 submissions as well as the winners announcement video, head to the KRCB Facebook page @KeepRCNCBeautiful. Keep up-to-date on other initiatives in the county spearheaded by KRCB to make a cleaner, more sustainable future.


Keep Rutherford County Beautiful began as an Earth Day litter pickup in 2016 and has transformed into a movement throughout Rutherford County, North Carolina. Neighbors, industry leaders, business owners, school systems and municipalities have joined forces to change the way we define community. Now an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, KRCB leads multiple green programs and initiatives in addition to the RecycleBot Challenge including litter sweeps, their annual Green Scholarship, and their Green Business Program. Together, we are taking action to love where we live, work and play.


Visit our website www.KeepRCNCBeautiful.org, our Facebook page @KeepRCNCBeautiful, our instagram @keeprcncbeautiful, or email KeepRCNCBeautiful@RutherfordCountyNC.gov.


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