Our efforts are made possible because of the many community leaders that have decided to make the stand for change. What started as an Earth Day litter pickup in 2016, has turned into a truly transformative movement throughout the county. Neighbors, colleagues and municipalities have joined forces to change the way we define community pride. Formed by the County Commissioners and County Manager, Steve Garrison, the following individuals have pledged themselves and their organizations to propelling Rutherford County's beautification forward by tackling the problems arising from our disposable economy.


Present Committee Members Include:

  • Don Cason, Executive Director Tourism Development Authority for Rutherford County (RC), presiding Chair for Keep RC Beautiful Committee and Chair of the Policy Sub-Committee

  • Jenna Bailey, founder of "Pick It Up RoCo" and Chair of the Education & Marketing Sub-Committee

  • Jess Kerr, Rutherford Outdoor Coalition and Chair of the Litter Sub-Committee

  • Karen Tegen, Tourism Development Authority for RC and Secretary for Keep RC Beautiful

  • Barry Spurlin, Public Works Director, Town of Forest City

  • Barry Yelton, Town of Ellenboro

  • Bob Harrison

  • Brad Teague, Chief Operating Officer, Rutherford County Schools

  • Richie Garland, Marketing Director, Rutherford County Schools

  • Chris Francis, Rutherford County Sheriff 

  • Chris Guffey, NC Department of Transportation

  • Clark Poole, Executive Director Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce

  • Dana Bradley, Town of Lake Lure

  • Doug Barrick, Town Manager for the Town of Rutherfordton

  • Elizabeth Troxler, Rutherford County Library

  • Gary Morgan, Public Works, Town of Spindale

  • George & Marian Moyer, RC Citizens at Large, Lions Club

  • James Kilgo, RC Solid Waste Management

  • Joann Maxey

  • Jordan Chapman, RC Litter and Animal Control Officer

  • Karen Powell, RC Health Department

  • Keith Ward, Public Works Director, Town of Rutherfordton

  • Matt Taylor, NC Department of Transportation

  • Monica Lee, Executive Director, The McNair Foundation

  • Sandra Weeks, Town of Ellenboro 

  • Scott Webber, Town Manager for the Town of Spindale

  • Steve Garrison, Rutherford County Manager

  • Taylor Hardin, Tourism Development Authority for RC 


These individuals also serve on sub-committees within Keep RC Beautiful, such as Administration & Policy, Litter Pick-Up, and Marketing & Education.






  • Tourism Development Authority of Rutherford County


  • Rutherford County Government

  • Town of Rutherfordton

  • Town of Spindale

  • Town of Bostic

  • NC Department of Transportation


  • Artifacturing, LLC

  • Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce

  • Rutherford Outdoor Coalition




Starting strong, we were able to sponsor an independent contractor to clean up 23 miles of roadway with tight shoulders and heavy traffic. Over a course of two weeks, they collected 287 bags at a cost of $2,300. 

But as you know, 2020 has been a challenging year. With the COVID-19 virus spreading like wildfire, we have had to cancel our Spring County-wide Litter Sweep. Studies report that the virus can live on surfaces for up to 9 days. This news, along with county and state mandates, terminates our clean up efforts for now. We sincerely hope that, with less traffic on the roads, litter will not collect at the same rate on our roadways and trails. 

We managed to have a Fall Sweep during the month of October and involved veteran collectors from the area. Over 85 residents collected 143 bags of trash! Paid pickup also happened during this time on roads that are unsafe to collect without a professional crew. They removed another 172 bags for a cost of $6,350.


We are ecstatic to list the teams and their totals:

  • Alma Resendiz, Rutherford County (RC) Waste Management White Oak Plaza, Spindale

  • Don Cason, RC Tourism Development Authority  along with his staff, they collected 99 bags on Coxe Rd, Union Rd & Hwy 74 in Rutherfordton

  • Elizabeth Troxler, Rutherford County Library

  • George and Marian Moyer MHillside Plaza Complex, Westbrooke Rd, Peachtree Circle

  • Jamie Yelton, Girl Scout Troop 13221  Purple Martin Greenway

  • Jenna Bailey, Salem United Methodist Church  Sparks Rd

  • Jess Kerr, Rutherford Outdoor Coalition Thermal Belt Rail Trail

  • Leah Buckley, Gilkey Community & Pinnacle Elementary Painters Gap Rd

  • Leslie Dinga with her crew of 25, picked up 122 bags of trash on Industrial Dr, Laurel Hill Dr, and Hwy 108 in Rutherfordton

  • Mia Chapman, American Zinc Products Hwy 221

  • Sandi White  CC Lovelace Rd

  • Scott Webber, Town of Spindale

During 2020 these teams, along with the paid pickup efforts puts our total at 823 BAGS OF TRASH.

Given the average weight of a household bag of trash is 15 lbs, that would put our total at 12,345 LBS OF TRASH or over 6 TONS of trash!

For those whose choose to assume additional risk by continuing to litter pick (and, of course, are permitted to do so by current local regulations), pleasetake the full measures of precaution to be keep yourself safe: 

  • Wear gloves

  • Do not touch exposed skin with your gloves

  • Remove the gloves properly

  • Wash and disinfect your hands after


2019 SWEEP 


These 60+ leaders represent over 1000 people—almost 2% of our county's population. Thank you for your time and leadership!

  • Alma Resendiz Rutherford County (RC) Waste Management White Oak Plaza, Spindale

  • Anne Englebach Cove Rd, Lake Lure

  • Barbara Meliskee Chimney Rock Village

  • Brad Teague, RC School System TBRT, Callison Rec. & Florence Church, Forest City

  • Dana Bradley, Rutherford Outdoor Coalition Thermal Belt Rail Trail

  • Don Cason, RC Tourism Development Authority  Coxe Rd, Union Rd, Rutherfordton

  • Rev. Chad Dillard - 2nd Baptist Church Kiwanis Park, Southern St, Green St, THunder Road, Rutherfordton

  • Cheryl Davis Ellenboro School Grounds, Ellenboro

  • Cindy Cope, Mi Pueblito Mexican Restaurant Baber Rd, Rutherfordton

  • Clint Ingle Charlotte Rd, John Smith Rd, Rutherfordton

  • Courtney Canipe, East Rutherford High School East High Rd, Forest City

  • Dana Bradley TBRT, Rock Rd

  • Doug Barrick Cleghom St, Greene St, Elm St and Court St

  • Erin Burleson Crowe Park, Forest City

  • Faith Hislop  Spindale St, Forest City

  • Garrett Murphy Lake Lure Roadsides

  • George & Marian Moyer Hillside Plaza, Westbrooke Dr, Thompson Rd, John Smith Rd, Edwards Rd, Beech Tree Cir, Forest City

  • Jackie Reynolds, FC/Dunbar Elementary School  Summey Park, School Grounds, Forest City

  • Jessie Marlow, Trelleborg Lowe's Complex & Businesses, Forest City

  • Jill Scott, Mt Vernon/Ruth Elementary School School Grounds & Rock Rd, Gilkey

  • Jo Oliver Church St, Bostic

  • Julie Henson, Grace Chapel TBRT, Forest City

  • Julie Powell Florence St, Forest City

  • Kevin Walker, Facebook Old Caroleen Rd, Forest City

  • Leah Buckley Gilkey School Rd, Painters Gap and Nix Rd

  • Leslie Brandle Ellenboro

  • Leslie Dinga Laurel Hill Rd, Rutherfordton

  • Lynn Wall & Robin Smith Bostic Sunshine Hwy, Bostic

  • Pasty Wilson Carpenter Rd., Rutherfordton

  • Phil Miner Boss Moore Rd, Ellenboro

  • Rebecca Warner Humphries HWY 221A Caroleen-Henrietta Rd, Ellenboro 

  • Ricky Greene Cliffside Park, Cliffside

  • Scott Webber TBRT, Main St, Oakland Rd, Spindale

  • Shannon & Chris Sims Mighty Dollar Parking Lot

  • Shivam Patel, RS Central High School Maple St, Rutherfordton

  • Sita Walker Smith Grove Rd, Forest City

  • Tammie Ash, Forrest W Hunt Elementary School  School Grounds, Forest City

  • Trudy Holland Ferry Rd, Forest City

  • WD Hutchins Bostic Sunshine Hwy, Bostic

2019 TRASH

After compounding successes with the County-Wide Litter Sweeps, it was time to figure out a way to engage Rutherford County's young adults and educators. The Trash Bowl incorporates a traveling trophy with an engraved plaque for every season's victor. This is friendly competition at its greenest!

The Spring Litter Sweep saw over 2300 pounds of trash collected—a tremendous success. Simultaneously however, Trash Bowl participants consisting of five County high schools, students, staff and family managed to collect over 4000 pounds of trash—almost double the amount. 

Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy took first place and was named Trash Bowl Champion with an astounding 2,714 pounds of trash. Lake Lure Classical Academy took a solid second place with over 70 student participants, followed by East Rutherford High, R-S Central High and Chase High School. 

It was amazing to see these school communities come together for such a meaningful civil and environmental cause. With that said, it's still a competition though and TJCA plans to defend their title in 2020!  

School Ambassadors that Led the Charge:

Brad White, Centennial Rd, Union Mills

Callie Barrier, East Stadium

Chaleise Burley, TJ Environmental Club

Clint Calhoun, LLCA

Donnie Henson, Chase HS

Dylan Fontensy, East HS Campus

Katie Cox, East Middle School

Leah Robbins, RS Environmental Club

Special thanks to Republic Waste Management for providing receptacles and weighing collected litter at all five locations, Night Owl Iron Works for fabricating the Trash Bowl trophy, Tri City Laser for mounting the trophy and plaque, Rutherford County Waste Management for their aid in collection and support, and the Rutherford County Board of Elections for providing ballot boxes. This worked because of you. 



The first Rutherford County-wide Earth Day cleanup was in the spring of 2017. Entitled, "100 Minutes. 100 People. 100 lbs of Trash," Jenna Washburn Bailey, Rutherford County native and co-founder of the local design firm, Artifacturing, created the event. Her idea was that 100 volunteers would pitch in, for just over an hour and a half each, with the hope of taking 100 pounds of trash back out of our local environment.  Bailey quickly found allies in town government and among fellow local business owners. Concerned citizens who also recognized the problem joined in with a desire to help. In total, over 1000 pounds of trash and recycling were recovered, more than 10 times Bailey's modest but meaningful original goal.  This success inspired an annual effort.  


In 2018, the Earth Day litter sweep was renamed "Pick It Up RoCo," using a fun name for Rutherford County popular on social media.  The second time around the ambitions were larger and alliances were in place to make it happen.  A volunteer committee was formed with Bailey as chair and four separate events were held.  There were strong and crucial partnerships from the beginning, with local town governments as well as the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) joining arms.  The April event had 300+ participants who managed to remove an astonishing three tons of trash & recycling over the course of 3 days. NCDOT provided safety vests, trash bags and gloves, while both NCDOT and the participating towns handled the removal of the bags collected. 

In late 2018, the County Commissioners Committee and Pick It Up RoCo officially merged to form Keep Rutherford County Beautiful. Members now include individuals from Rutherford County Tourism, Artifacturing, Rutherford Outdoor Coalition, the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, Town of Spindale, Town of Rutherfordton, Town of Forest City, NCDOT, Rutherford County Schools, Rutherford County Law Enforcement, the Moyer Family, Project Challenge NC and the McNair Foundation. This body is determined to tackle waste management by focusing on litter pickups, recycling & littering education and policy change. To jumpstart these efforts, Rutherford County Tourism volunteered to spearhead the group and donated $20,000 to the cause.  


Since then, Keep Rutherford County Beautiful has gotten it's own brand which succeeds the "100,100,100" and "Pick it up RoCo" identities and represents the many groups that are now unified around the effort to make real and meaningful change in our county.  Keep Rutherford County Beautiful also now has it's own mascot, Roxi the Raccoon.  Roxi is a lively and lovable costumed spokesman who travels the county, engaging young people and standing up for community pride, clean streets and healthy living.   


2018 was also about changing our mindset and culture for the future, which meant engaging children and youth.  Scavenger hunts were developed for children under 12 taking part in the Earth Day cleanup event. Over 50 children turned in scavenger hunts and earned a reward: a star made from recycled crayons.


The Recycle Bot Challenge was a sculpture contest that involved students and staff from Cliffside, Forrest Hunt, and Rutherfordton Elementary schools. Over 60 students or student groups turned in a "bot" made entirely of recycled materials, along with a story about that bot's life story and purpose. The bots traveled all over the county to raise awareness and show off their spirit and creativity. Community leaders voted on their favorites and awards of gardening supplies and seeds were given to each student.

Since 2018, Keep Rutherford County Beautiful has continued to strive to beautify the county. Together, we can continue to make a difference.


I saw litter and I want to schedule a clean-up. Can I do that?

Yes! There are several ways to get it cleaned up.


Do you want to clean up the area and need supplies?
Come see Emily at the Tourism Development Authority office located in the Woodrow Jones building in downtown Rutherfordton. Office hours are Monday-Friday 9-5pm.


Want to pay the professionals to clean it up? 
We will coordinate the desired roadway to be cleaned up for you.  Contribute $100 for a one mile stretch. This includes both sides of the road. 

Mail your tax deductible contribution to PO Box 834, Rutherfordton, NC 28139. Make checks payable to Tourism Asset Foundation with KRCB in the tag line.
 Please remember to include details specifying what area(s) the contribution is for. 

Online donations should be available VERY SOON. This will not be an overnight change. Scheduling takes up to a month before the pick up crew can get there.


Want to join a Keep RC Beautiful pickup?

Check out our facebook page for upcoming events or email us at to discuss a clean-up date and time.

I want to schedule a mascot sighting at my event. 

How can I do that?

Visit our Meet Our Mascots page and submit a request using the submission form at the bottom of the page. We can't wait to work with you and introduce you to Roxi!

I want to get involved with Keep RC Beautiful.

Where do I start?

Check out our Get Involved page to register for upcoming events with Keep RC Beautiful. We appreciate your support!

How do donations work?

Tax deductible donations help support the efforts of Keep RC Beautiful. Donations may be used for purchasing necessary clean-up equipment, supplies needed for educational promotions, or for advertising. Mail your tax deductible contribution to PO Box 834, Rutherfordton, NC 28139. Make checks payable to Tourism Asset Foundation with KRCB in the tag line. Online donations should be available VERY SOON.

I want to sponsor a highway. Can I do that?

Yes! Please refer to our handout below for more information on placing a sign and the responsibilities of the Adopt-A-Highway program.


Still have questions? Submit your them using the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

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