KEB Southern Trash Bash: Creating a cleaner community


In Swainsboro, there’s a new billboard in town on the corner of Main Street and Tiger Trail. It’s hard to miss. Uncle Birdie stands holding a trash bag beside the message, “Please stop littering.”

As part of a beautification movement, Keep Emanuel Beautiful (KEB) invited local citizens to help clean up the county on Saturday, May 11th at the inaugural Southern Trash Bash. By noon, over 60 bags of trash were collected from Garfield and Canoochee to Oak Park and Swainsboro, along highways, city streets, parking lots and dirt roads.

Community members either cleaned their own stretch or received a map of streets in need from Justin Morris, Emanuel County Public Works Coordinator.

Garfield residents led by KEB and city council member Latrail Sheffield got a head start and cleaned various roadsides during the week, while Canoochee residents George and Missy Elder along with County Commissioner Jim Sherrod collected over 16 bags of trash in their area on Saturday.

Oak Park KEB member Elease Turner joined Mayor Mickey Lindsey, County Commissioner Timmy Oliver and community members to pick up over 1800 lbs of trash along Highway 86 and several other roadways.

Veterans at the Library spring-cleaned the Veterans and First Responders Park by cutting limbs, raking leaves, and replacing the flag to prepare for their memorial day program.

In other areas of Swainsboro, Swainsboro Middle School (SMS) picked up trash along the entrances to Walmart, while Moose Lodge 1930 members cleaned Lambs Bridge Road and areas around the fountain and Boneyard in Swainsboro. East Georgia State College (EGSC) and Swainsboro High School (SHS) Spanish club received maps from Morris to hit the messiest roads. Their willingness paid off.

The largest group making the biggest impact award went to the SHS Spanish club. They received the honorary KEB Trash Trophy and bragging rights for a year.

The craziest find award went to EGSC biology professor Dr. Breana “B” Simmons’ box painted with Egyptians doing a line dance. Other crazy finds included a dramatic conversation written on a styrofoam plate and a bedazzled stick found by the Spanish club and a shopping cart found by the Morris family. The painted box won, but Simmons donated the cash prize to the Spanish club.

In 2025, KEB plans to coordinate the event with the Twin City cleanup. There may even be a city award for the most elected officials participating. So get your gloves and pick up sticks ready, Mayors!

Tony Hutcheson, KEB chair, thanks “each and every one that came out to help clean our communities” and asks that “you share your passion for beautification with others. We are already working on plans for next year's event.”

A special thanks goes out to Emanuel County for drinks, Swainsboro City for pizza, and Tractor Supply for bags.