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  • Keep RC Beautiful Staff

Over 18 Thousand Pounds of Litter Removed During Trash Bowl 2022, Thomas Jefferson Classical On Top

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, NC [Oct. 25, 2022] – The Trash Bowl returned for its third annual run this September, with more participation than ever before. A total of eight Rutherford County High Schools participated in the Keep Rutherford County Beautiful competition to see who could pick up the most litter. The goal is to remove litter from our public spaces, including roadsides, parking lots, public parks, trails and campuses, while encouraging the next generation of environmental stewards.

In 2021, over 6,000 pounds of litter was collected. This year, the Trash Bowl participants removed over three times as much, collecting 18,370 pounds of litter from our public outdoor spaces between September 16th to October 2nd. This corresponded with the state’s Fall Litter Sweep. Groups of Rutherford County citizens were also encouraged to join in, collect litter and bring it to the school of their choice. All said, 375 volunteers took part in this years Bowl.

“It is a great opportunity to get out and clean up the litter that unfortunately is thrown out by careless people,” says George Moyer, Keep Rutherford County Beautiful litter committee member. “Litter along our roads is so unsightly, and when high schoolers volunteer to clean up it is great.”

The level of school and student participation in this year’s Trash Bowl rose significantly and gives hope for a cleaner environment for Rutherford County. The participating high schools were Chase High School, East Rutherford High School, Lake Lure Classical Academy, The Master’s Academy, R-S Central High School, The Rutherford Opportunity Center, Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy, and Trinity Christian School.

"The future culture of our county is changing,” says Brian Leber, Town of Spindale employee and Keep Rutherford County Beautiful Litter Committee member. “The youth I spoke with genuinely expressed a contemptuous attitude toward the present sight along our scenic byways."

Impressively, six of the competing schools beat last year's winning total of 1,880 pounds. In first place, Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy, first year Trash Bowl champions, took back their title with a whopping total of 6,090 pounds. In second place, R-S Central High School collected 2,660 pounds. In third place, Chase High School’s litter weighed in at 2,340 pounds.

Trinity Christian School collected 2,000 pounds. The Master’s Academy gathered 1,920 pounds. East Rutherford High School’s litter pickups weighed in at 1,860 pounds. Lake Lure Classical Academy picked up 1,500 pounds of litter.

The Trash Bowl competition would not have been possible without all of the volunteers, organizations and businesses who offered their time and efforts. Keep Rutherford County Beautiful spearheaded organizational efforts and provided supply kits. They brought their spirited mascots, Roxi and Rocki the Raccoons, to the participating high schools along with volunteers to educate students and encourage Trash Bowl participation. Republic Services generously donated sixteen litter collection dumpsters. In addition, they took the time and effort to drive to each school individually to place the dumpsters, returning to weigh them intermittently and eventually remove them. Rutherford County Solid Waste Department went on site periodically to remove and weigh large items to add to the final count. The North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Rutherford County Board of Elections donated supplies. It was truly a community effort that made the Trash Bowl possible.

Participants found many heavy items such as tires, furniture, and even a generator in their litter pick ups. These large items were placed next to the litter dumpsters, and periodically weighed and removed by Rutherford County Solid Waste Department. Proper disposal of these large items would not have been possible without them.

“I couldn’t believe the participation from the students. It was very encouraging to see all these young people putting effort towards cleaning up our public spaces,” says Eddie Mote of the Rutherford County Solid Waste Department. This year there was a big increase in the larger items found. “We even had to pull Steven Cooper out from another department to come and help us,” says Eddie.

Each year the Trophy is housed by the winning school, with their name and weight total added to a plaque on the base. The Trophy was presented to Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy by Keep Rutherford County Beautiful, with committee speakers Jenna Bailey and Clark Poole with Rocki and Roxi unveiling the trophy.

The committee was so impressed and thankful with the amount of effort put forth by these 280 students, each participating high school earned a pizza party thanks to FlyBoy Pizza of Rutherfordton, run by young entrepreneur Lance Cope.

Although the Trash Bowl has come to a close, individuals can still contact Keep Rutherford County Beautiful for supplies and do a litter pick-up on their ow with vests, gloves, and bags provided for a safe pick-up.


CHASE HIGH SCHOOL > LEADERS / Katherine Ash, Maggie Crowe, Katherine Glover > STUDENTS / Maritsa Sanchez, Carrie Cogdill, Kylie Alexander, Anastyn Galloway, Brianna Marks, Emily Jarvis, Roselyn Enriquez, Libby Longstockys, Olivia Derisma, Haley Smith, Lucero AguadoHallie HernandezCandice Beheler, Faith PorterEva RayEmily HillAlexis Phillips,Abril Delacruz, Taylor Waters, Nathan Flynn, Hannah Weks, Sadie White, Taylor Barker, Austin Newton, Mckiah Splawn, Andres Leyva, Montana Honeycutt, Claire Alcorn, Sadie White, Valeria Jackson, Lucas Bright, Savannah Breeden

EAST RUTHERFORD HIGH SCHOOL > LEADER / Todd Whitley > STUDENTS / Zechariah Hoppes, Spencer Davis, Heidi Bowen, April Whitley, Kristina Curry, Chloe Bolt, Cora Goforth, Carrie Houser, Janet Mason, Sonny Penson, Dallas Lankert, Noah Turner, Christopher O'Berine

LAKE LURE CLASSICAL ACADEMY > LEADERS / Michael Smith, Clint Calhoun > STUDENTS / Alaina Bengston, Grace Bowman, Olivia Bragdon, Cayden Calhoun, Emlee Curtis, Roxanna Duarte, Jesse Gamez, James Gingerich, Ava Grason, Jacob Hansford, Braylon Hornbeck, Pilot Howell, Avery Hudson, Ryan Irving, Adler Knight, Layton Laurita, Zoey Marshall, Jordyn McCollim, Tailynn Nelon, Sarah Pace, Damian Powell, Devon Richardson, Sofia Royal, Rebecca Ruseell, Scarlett Russell, Nola Shade, Abigails Sias, Ysabella Staley, Skye Tittle, Moira Turner, Malorie Upton, Roman Viva, Kinley Waters, Connor Young

MASTER'S ACADEMY > LEADERS / Christine Bishop > STUDENTS / Delaney Maze, Della Davis, Samantha Sundell, Lucas Skipper, Nate Bell, Amaya Akers, Faith Perry, Taylor Bell, Luke Moreno, Zach Gatlin, Hunter Brown, Landon Melton, Alexandra Haynes, Madison Townsend, Haley Hensley, Conner Gragg, Charlie Lawson


R-S CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL > LEADER / Jennifer Walker, Tami Myslinski > STUDENTS / Grace Rogers, Ashleigh Womick, Logan Harris, Hannah Newton, Savannah Lail, Natalie Shearer, David Hernandez, Eli Warren, Mackenzie Hughes, Emma Jones, JJ Racovilli, Amanda Willis, Gabriel Haylett, Violet Cooper, Braxton Albrecht, Nicholas Arrowwood, Shyann Brown, John Clark, Payton Cobb, Mercedes Craft, Michael Crawford, Broady Dixon, Andrea Fite, Elijah Fowler, Charles Hall, Gavin Henderson, Tristina LaFever, Matthew Lawrence, Haleigh Osborne, Nathaniel Sand, Haley Tate, Brayden Helms, Griffin Shaw, Hayden Dover, Lawrence Sims, Mary Chevere, Jaron Bradley, Garrett Carter, Abigail Earley, Nevada Garcia, Breanna Lantroop, Emma Osborne, John Tate, Alex Bradley, Kalani MaxieIzaiah Garcia, Aaron Wright, Caden Hodge, Michael Lowdermilk, Travis Melton, William King, Chevere, Erika Sain, Clayton Burns, Laura Lee Owens, Jaron Bradley, Dallas Thomas, Corbbin Waters, Nathanial Cronk, Harley Southerland, William Purselly, Alissa Baaker, Justin Earley, Deacon Mensch, Wellington Rodriguez

THOMAS JEFFERSON CLASSICAL ACADEMY > LEADERS / Kimberly Lloyd, Megan Witte, Misty Yelton, Karen Cook, Amanda Byers > STUDENTS / Julissa Leon, Jennie Conner, Victoria Vess, Madison McComas, Erin Gammon, Ava Bell, Dylan Bentacur, Lucas Byers, Maddie Connor, August Cook, Sydney Grace Evans, Amanda Griffith, Turner Cook, Kate Fletcher, Andy Francis, Hope Francis, Ethan Greene, Mackenzie Greene, Nia Harris, Bella Hill, Dayton Holt, Chloe Jones, Michelle Joseph, Delaney Kinter, Eli Lineberger, Emma Lineberger, Lucy Logan, Zoee Lawrence, Jazzelle Martinez, Ryan McMillian, Addison Milner, Tessa Milner, Austin Moran, Josh Moss, Grady Oakman, Sophia Sidhu, Kendra Stranahan, Maris Rogers, Sammie Ross, Morgan Spears, LeAnn Turner, Nick Turner, Naomi Vargus, Emma Wren Walker, Kaylin Watkins, Holden Weatherford, Annie Marie Willis, Katelynn Hopper, Laryn Lancaster, Anjali Patel, Powell Okpych, Campbell Powell

TRINITY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL > LEADER / Amanda Elwood > STUDENTS / Hayden Ponder, Charlie Tanner, Abigail Edwards, Coleman Fleming, Katryssa Holt, Noah Owens, Luke Weldman, Elise Whiteside, Liam Sisk, Maddie Self, Kinsely Hudson, OlIver Heusinkveld, Graidyn Hudson, Natalie Jones, David Littlejohn, October McDowell, Aidan McEnnerney, Abby Grace McEntyre, Madison Miller, Kason Owens, Ervin Parker, Bethanne Smith, Tinsley Smith, Korbyn Ware, Josiah Willis, Nicolas Jennings, Grayson Dale, Kelsie Vasse, Trinity, Monica, Grayson Lili PartonIsaiahAndersonCheyenneSullyCamHannahReeseJRCohen PritchardAndrew Vasset, Lincoln Parton, Makenna Queen, Melody Davis, Aveiona Sprouse, Malia Davis, Brayden Erwood, Hallie Jenkins, Blake Jennings, Colton Stroud, JC Parker, Jenna Shahan, OlIvia Munez, Savannah Willis, Holden Roper, Chloe Erwood, Peyton Singleton


  • ARTIFACTURING / Jenna Bailey



  • TOWN OF FOREST CITY / Janet Mason


  • CITIZENS AT LARGE / George & Maryanne Moyer, Lauren Wallace, Jess Parton, Madison Jennings

Thank you to all involved for stepping up and making our county a more beautiful place to live, learn and grow!!

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