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  • Keep RC Beautiful Staff

Trash pick-up veteran takes part in Spring Litter Sweep - A Keep RC Beautiful Mini Story

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

Steve Gilbert Trash Pick-Up Veteran
Trash pick-up veteran Steve Gilbert gathers litter along the roadside.

Steve Gilbert, a native and lifetime resident of Rutherford County and retired business owner is no stranger to the litter scene. For years, Gilbert has been going out on his own to keep Rutherford County clean, and participating in an organized clean-up for the first time proved to be just as satisfying.

“There is such a deep-down, good feeling of picking up trash,” Gilbert said. “Afterwards you get to go home, wash your hands, and feel good about what you did.”

For the month of April, Rutherford County citizens teamed up to clean up roadways, parking lots, trails, and parks across the county during the Spring County-Wide Litter Sweep. Gilbert gathered litter along Oak Street near Gilbert Windshield in Spindale and in Ellenboro along Booger Holler Road. He worked with the Town of Spindale litter sweep team, led by town manager Scott Webber.

“Webber contacted me to be a part of his group,” Gilbert said. “We both work to promote bicycling and keeping the Thermal Belt Rail Trail clean.”

Gilbert believes that it is important to clean wherever you go. Picking up litter in areas shows your own pride for the community, and cleaning up the trash left by others sets a precedent for those that come into the area in the future.

“It is your job to be a steward to keep the area clean and help people,” Gilbert said. “You should try to make the place you live better than how you found it.”

Over time, Gilbert hopes that this event prompts more involvement and education for the county. Children learn from watching those around them, and making sure that the next generation takes pride in the environment is crucial to Gilbert. Without educating today’s youth, society cannot expect the Earth to become healthier.

“The education of the next generation is important,” Gilbert said. “You aren’t going to change the mindset of those throwing it out now without teaching the next generation. That’s where the change will come."

Gilbert has a personal commitment to doing what is right for people and taking care of business, especially when it comes to litter. He plans to continue to pick up litter on his own and be more involved in the events organized by Keep Rutherford County Beautiful.

“I got a lot out of the event,” Gilbert said. “I am sure that the 650 plus people involved got a lot out of it too.”

If you found this story inspiring, join the movement for a cleaner, more beautiful Rutherford County. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and empower our citizens to take action every day to improve and beautify their community. Find us on Facebook @KeepRCNCBeautiful, or email us at

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