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Think About It

Green Leaves


  • The most littered items are plastics, bottles, styrofoam, and cigarette butts.

    • Styrofoam does not decompose.

    • A cup or take-out container that was used for minutes will be on the earth forever.

    • Cigarette butts take 10 years to decompose!

  • Litter degrades natural areas and harms plants and animals. Approximately one million birds and one hundred thousand sea animals are killed each year as a result of littering. 

  • Most litter ends up in the ocean, via rivers and streams, negatively impacting water quality for animals and humans alike.

    • Locally, there is significant issue with trash ending up in the Broad River. Groups like the Rutherford Outdoor Coalition regularly work to clean tires, plastics, and other debris out of the river.

  • Litter negatively effects the natural beauty of an area, significantly impacting local businesses and residential areas.

  • Economic growth is hindered as new businesses opt to set up shop in cleaner communities and property owners see decreased values as a result of the litter. 

  • Tax-payer dollars are spent every year on combating litter and the amount of litter is on the rise.

  • It costs $100 per mile for a private contractor to clean one mile of road. There are over 11,000 miles of road in Rutherford County. It would cost $110,000 to clean them ONCE.

  • Spring 2021, we were only able to cover 175 miles with NCDOT!






  • Conduct a trash scavenger hunt with your elementary aged students or children. They can earn recognition for completing it!

  • RecycleBot challenge for 3rd Graders is an awesome way to make art while learning about upcycling. There are wonderful prizes for the everyone that participates!

  • Organize or join a litter sweep team - Sweeps happen across the county, in both spring and fall. We provide the guidelines and supplies (gloves, bags and vests), you give 2 hours of your time. No moving trash required. Since 2017, we have been able to remove 30+ tons of trash with volunteers like you! It is a great team building activity for co-workers, classmates, churches and civic groups.

  • Report a pickup - You just need a plastic bag and gloves to collect anytime in your yard or on your road, on your schedule. In order to be counted, click the here and file out the two minute form.

  • Sponsor a litter pickup - $100 cleans up one full mile of roadway on both sides of the road. Your contribution is 100% tax deductible.

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