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Litter Prevention & Cleanups


  1. KNCB is able to organize “on-the-ground” volunteers that provide valuable services that ultimately improve community aesthetics, create safer environments and positively impacts economic development without using tax dollars.
  2. No one is PRO-LITTER. Everyone agrees litter is ugly, unnecessary and often causes accidents.  It ruins the natural beauty of our state.
  3. Litter is expensive and hits our pocketbooks.  On average, the NC Department of Transportation spends $15 million annually removing roadside trash.

Unusual Litter Contest

A diamond ring…1730 George II Farthing coin…abandoned boat and lost paycheck. What do these things have in common? They are all past entries  to Keep NC Beautiful and PepsiCo’s Unusual Litter Contest.

The Unusual Litter Contest is sponsored by PepsiCo and held during the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s fall and spring Litter Sweep cleanup
events and Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup. Winning entries are awarded cash prizes of $250 for 1st place, $100 for 2nd place and $50
for 3rd place.

It’s easy to enter the contest – find unusual litter while participating in any organized cleanup, take a picture of it, complete the entry form and mail or email the form and picture to KNCB.  All entry forms for the fall Unusual Litter Contest are due by Oct. 31 and the spring by May 31. Forms can be downloaded on our site. We post the contests under events.

Contest rules: Entries must be submitted from individuals or groups who are participating in a roadside or waterway cleanup. Unusual litter must be
found on N.C. roadways; roadway signage; animals or reptiles are excluded from contest. Photographs will not be returned and may be used to promote
litter prevention programs

“PepsiCo is a proud sponsor of the Unusual Litter Contest. Our company supports programming that emphasizes proper waste handling practices and
recycling. We see this contest as a great way to salute North Carolina citizens who are cleaning up littered roadsides and improving our community
Darren Clark, Director, Government Affairs PepsiCo

Tarp Awareness & Free Tarp Distribution Campaign

Almost 50% of of North Carolina’s roadside litter is “blown not thrown” and attributes to the $14-18 million spent annually on litter pickup. Approximately 440 accidents caused by debris in the roadway were reported in 2009.

Keep NC Beautiful’s Tarp Awareness Campaign is designed to remind drivers to properly secure cargo in truck beds which prevents accidents and reduce roadside litter.  The campaign reinforces General Statue 14-399 which makes it illegal to haul an improperly secured load and can result in a $2,000 fine, community service work and one point on a motorist’s driver license upon conviction.

Our goal is to reach, educate and activate convenience center or landfill users to properly secure their cargo with the distribution of free tarps administrated by our 35 affiliates in 33 counties or any interested counties.  We issue a kit including tarps, brochures outlining the law that makes it illegal to haul unsecured loads, banners and signage along with a template on how to inclusively execute a tarp distribution event.

This program is offered once a year and usually depends on our funding sources for the tarps.  Please contact our Program Manager Brenda Ewadinger for more information at nckab@carolina.rr.com.

Community Improvement Grants – Open Dec. 1 2012 & Due Feb. 15 2013

Practicing Green PaysApply for Keep NC Beautiful’s $500 Community Improvement Grants

Keep NC Beautiful in partnership with the NC Coca-Cola Bottlers Council offers $500 Community Improvement grants that address litter prevention and clean-up, waste reduction and recycling and beautification. Schools, youth and civic groups, non-profits and Keep NC Beautiful affiliates are eligible to apply. Three $500 awards will be issued for each category.

Applications are based on the following criterion: response to need, impact,  measurability, education, partnerships, innovation and recognition. The application process is designed to be basic and require minimal staff time.

Priority will be given to applications that highlight programs or projects in conjunction with the annual Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup (March 1 – May 31) and America Recycles Day, celebrated in November.  Also of importance are public educational initiatives focusing on enhancing cleanup and beautification efforts and increasing waste reduction and recycling behaviors.

Applications will be available on our website December 1  and are due by February 15. Winners will be announced March 1. For more information, contact KNCB Program and State Leader Brenda Ewadinger at 704.442.0791or bewadinger@keepncbeautiful.org.

The 2011 winners included: Penn-Griffin School for the Arts, High Point; Phi Theta Kappa-Guilford Technical Community College, Jamestown; US Green Building Council at NC State University, Raleigh;  Better Badin Inc, Badin;  Nash Central High School Environmental Club, Rocky Mount; Triangle Reuse Alliance and The Green Chair Project, Raleigh.

The 2012 winners were:

–          C.S. Brown High School, Winton – to host a community greening volunteer effort to restore and enhance the landscape of the school grounds.

–          Exploris Middle School, Raleigh – to fund bus advertisements for an anti-cigarette butt litter campaign.

–          Pumpkin Center Intermediate School, Lincolnton – to support the school’s environmental club by providing recycling bins and adding milkweed for its monarch butterfly garden.

–          Keep Gastonia Beautiful, Gastonia -to assist in the placement of a Community Garden in Gastonia’s Highland neighborhood.

–          Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful, Charlotte –to increase the collection of plastic bottles by providing an equal number of recycling bins proportionate to the number of trash cans at events held in Mecklenburg County.

–          Keep New Hanover County Beautiful – to encourage schools to begin or grow sustainability programs by reinstating its Green School Award Program.

–          Keep America Beautiful of Nash & Edgecombe Counties, Rocky Mount– to support a  Student Litter Art Show where students create works of art from trash and recycled items.

–          Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful, Winston-Salem – to support its annual Community Roots Day tree planting public event.

–          North Hominy Beautification Extreme Make-Over Team, Canton – to enhance the natural beauty of its community through regular litter clean-ups and landscaping.

–          Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Civic Association, Roadanthe –to establish a litter reduction program that will compliment current clean up and recycling programs, and planned community improvements associated with a new multi-use pathway.

-Town of Ahoskie, Ahoskie – to design and build a butterfly garden in honor of the families that lost their homes due to Hurricane Floyd.

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Office: (919) 573-5441
Fax: (919)-787-4916


3739 National Drive, Ste 202

Raleigh, NC 27612

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