About Keep North Carolina Beautiful

Mission: Keep North Carolina Beautiful, Inc. (KNCB) engages and supports organizations and individuals to keep NC beautiful. KNCB is the state chapter for Keep America Beautiful.

Our Focus: Litter Prevention, Beautification & Greening, Waste Reduction & Recycling

KNCB is primarily a grassroots organization assisting communities with active beautification and anti-litter programs, and helping other communities that want to develop such programs.

Cost/Benefit Ratio:

The average NC affiliate produces $34 in value for every $1 of public funds invested.*

Value: Keep NC Beautiful offers hands-on community improvement projects that allow everyone to take personal responsibility for the cleanliness and sustainability of their community environments.  We know that North Carolina’s beauty attracts investment through travel and tourism, business and people looking for a better quality of life. KNCB’s work in enhancing and preserving our state’s beauty is our business model.

Major Programs:

Great American CleanupKeep America Beautiful’s signature program – and the nation’s largest community improvement effort – takes place annually from March 1 through May 31.

Community Improvement Awards – Award schools, nonprofits and individuals with $500 grants annually to conduct community improvement projects

Most Unusual Litter Contest – Award cash prizes bi-annually to individuals or groups who pick up bizarre litter during a community clean-up drive

Tarp Day – An annual event in which local KNCB affiliates work with local law enforcement agencies and solid waste personnel to distribute free tarps (provided by NCDOT) and litter prevention brochures at landfills and recycling centers.

America Recycles Day (ARD) – Celebrated annually on November 15.  KNCB hosts an annual recycling collection in Raleigh and Charlotte. Plus, KNCB assists in coordinating many local recycling drives statewide.

Key Results:

  • During 2010’s 3-month, statewide Great American Cleanup, volunteers logged 111,830 hours and collected 992,362 pounds of litter, resulting in a $2.2 million cost savings in manpower for clean up.
  • The 2009 Tarp Day campaign distributed 4,200 tarps to 27 participating counties.
  • A 2010 ARD event collected 84,000 pounds of recyclables in one location alone!
  • Since 2000, 77 communities have been awarded $500 grants from KNCB’s Litter Prevention Contest and 69 individuals have won cash prizes entering KNCB’s Unusual Litter Contest.


KNCB services 35 community affiliates representing 33 counties including Ashe, Bladen, Brunswick, Buncombe, Catawba, Clay, Cleveland, Craven, Cumberland, Davie, Duplin, Durham, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston (Belmont, Gastonia), Guilford (Greensboro/High Point), Iredell, McDowell, Mecklenburg (County/City of Charlotte), Moore, Nash/Edgecombe, New Hanover, Onslow, Pasquotank, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Rockingham, Scotland, Wake, Wilkes and Wilson.

Counties poised to start a community affiliate include Ashe, Clay, Lenoir, Robeson and Rockingham.

KNCB is interested in helping any community with a desire to begin an affiliate program.


KNCB is governed by an engaged Board of Directors that includes representatives of many of its private-sector partners.

* Keep America Beautiful validates this return on investment from data included in annual cost-benefit analysis reporting required of all Keep America Beautiful affiliates across the country.

Our Executive Director

Brenda Ewadinger joined Keep NC Beautiful in 2009 upon her retirement from Mecklenburg County after 32 of service in Waste Reduction-Recycling and Litter Prevention. During her tenure with the county, she was involved in the development and implementation of a pilot curbside recycling program that transitioned into a City of Charlotte service for its residents. Later she was the Operations Manager for the County’s Recycling Division, overseeing a network of recycling drop-off centers and a composting facility. Rounding out her career, she developed a Litter Prevention Plan and formed Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful serving as the Executive Director until her retirement. She is a member and past president of the KAB State Leaders Council and previously served as a board director and officer for the National Recycling Coalition and the Carolina Recycling Association.


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