Since 2004, we have united with communities and businesses to be stewards of Durham by removing thousands of pounds of waste, planting trees & community gardens, and bringing people together to take ownership of their city.


To engage and inspire individuals to take greater responsibility for their community environment.


We are driven and motivated by the dream that all residents feel a sense of belonging in Durham and a desire to be stewards of its environment. While it is daunting to try to solve the issues challenging our environment alone, we are here to make it easier.

An affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Keep Durham Beautiful is a nonprofit working in partnership with the City of Durham's General Services Department and Durham County to help residents take action through volunteer opportunities, tool lending, educational programs, resource coordination, and more. All of these activities center around our three focus areas.

Litter prevention

Litter damages communities near and far as it devalues neighborhoods, threatens the health of nearby fauna and flora, and makes its way into rivers and oceans, where it can leach chemicals or contribute to the growing plastic problem. Instead, we want you to know your community and neighborhood deserves to be beautiful, litter-free, and healthy.

Aside from organizing community litter clean-ups, we also focus on preventing litter and stopping it at the source. This means coordinating with local businesses and educating residents about why littering is harmful and finding solutions to reduce it beyond simply  picking it up. 

recycling & waste reduction

We are strong advocates of reduce, reuse, & recycle! Even more importantly, our efforts are focused on closing the loop in the efforts to reduce post-consumer waste. We offer educational resources and events centered around repurposing items, tips about small lifestyle changes that can greatly reduce your impact, and much, much more!

beautification & community greening

While we are here to empower you to keep your neighborhood clean, we also want you to be proud and find your community beautiful! Trees and plants make incredibly positive impacts on our health and environment. That aside, working with community members around you to plant trees and other plants is a powerful bonding moment and point of connection. We work with individuals, companies, and community groups to become stewards of the land around them and help them improve their communities.

Thanks for working with us. It was so simple to clean up with all the tools you provided.  Looking forward
to working with you all again!
— Rebecca Levine, Beth El Youth Groups & Moishe House Triangle

What We've Achieved in FY 2016-17

  • Cleaned up 61,271 pounds of litter

  • Engaged with Durham's Latino community for a community-wide clean up: "I Love Durham Limpio"

  • Educated 1157 youth through environmental stewardship programs and outreach

  • Awarded 16 community grants

  • Coordinated our first Reuse Rodeo


  • Coordinated with over 4,000 volunteers

  • Diverted 40,609 lbs of waste from the landfill

  • Established cafeteria recycling at 15 Durham Public schools

  • Gave away 6724 flowers, 220 trees, and volunteers planted 634 trees on public property

  • Installed 18 new pollinator gardens

  • Hosted our first Pollinator Garden Tour

Want to keep the good going? 

Consider donating to Keep Durham Beautiful so we can empower and inspire more volunteers, attend to more places in Durham, and start more projects in your community!

Learn more about how you can help!