As a rural area, yet a tourist attraction, we serve two very different demographic profiles. Our locals are rural, farmers and ranchers and our tourists are mainly from urban areas, educated, affluent, outdoor enthusiast. These two diverse groups challenge our program development to cover all of our litter reduction needs. Local: Since 2014, our Litter Index score has gone from 1.33 to 1.13 in 2018 a 15% decrease. Although this lower index does not seem that it has improved dramatically, it is because generally our area is very litter aware as we have worked hard to assist in litter reduction. When our annual cleanups happen our messages go to area communities, the churches and the villages. Since there are a number of elderly people residing here, we have neighbors call on them to ascertain any litter cleanup needs. The city and county officials are offer ex-officio presence on our board and are integral in our messaging. Schools: As a part of the KAB inaugural youth Advisory Committee leadership program KKCB’s school influence is strong. We have Litter Free events at all school functions. Our Green Team (YAC) works the concession booths, provides cleanup and litter indices & teach peer to peer programs with the younger students. The student’s passion is evident as they have placed in the top 10 in the nation for the Pepsico Recycle Rally for the past 7 years, and this year we are on tack again, listed currently in 5th place in the nation.

Tourist: We literally have to put on another hat to deal with tourists. We have strong leadership in Nebraska Game and Parks that seeks to create sustainable and litter free beaches. We have been in the CLPP for 4 years from 2014 to 2017. In that time, our messaging at the lake focused on butts and the beach. Advertising, portable ashtrays and ash receptacles for Game and Parks and private businesses grew awareness and reduction of cigarette litter. Then, we started focusing on waste management. We developed a program in 2016 to place recycling bins at strategic locations around the lake. Recycle McConaughy, has reduced litter at the lake and increased the recycling weight to 220 of material kept out of the landfill. We have collaborated with NE G&P to develop additional signage, promote our message of Leave only your ‘FOOTPRINTS, please,’ billboard, installed 10 recycling containers, over 30 ash receptacles and offer recycling bags to campgrounds. We approach all of our programs with the 5 step behavior change model as the outline. We plan, we organize, we get the statistics, and we reinforce positive behavior and reward our model recyclers. Our print and electronic media are content clear, with pillar content in our print and web and then develop micro content for 11 social media platforms consistent with our messaging.


recycling is what we are called to do and what we do well. In the last KAB fiscal year, our community has recycled over 2 million pounds of various material. Our development of programs, messaging and ongoing presence in all things green has positioned KKCB as the environmental leader in Western Nebraska. For the past three years, KKCB has garnered Keep America Beautiful and Keep Nebraska Beautiful acknowledgement for innovative recycling and education programs. Our recycling in our community is twofold. Locally, the area is served by a non-profit recycling center that coordinates and cooperates with us to fulfill our programs. We develop programs based on our organizations funding and objectives. We work very closely to develop systems that are replicable to other areas. We have been deeply involved and ingrained in the Pepsico Recycle Rally and have been tapped by Pepsi as a contributor to their toolbox on getting schools involved in the Recycle Rally. Throughout the Pepsico Recycle Rally program the message to the students was-“We can all make a difference and it only takes one person!” These kids stepped up their dedication to recycling by learning the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling! They learned about the various types of materials to be recycled and the benefit of purchasing recycled goods. They learned that instead of placing items in the garbage to be taken to a landfill, they can contribute to the success of the greening of their town!!

As the leading force in environmental sustainability we have been called upon to create Zero Waste Events, provide tools for businesses to recycle, and expand our kid’s programs through the summer. This summer we were selected by Pepsico to be one of their inaugural summer programs for recycling. Through our Kids Oasis summer school grant program, KKCB taught a bi-weekly class focused on how to recycle right and what to recycle, took the kids to Ogallala Beach to pick up trash two times and fulfilled the expectations and goals we initially set out to do. We were also the winner of a $1,000.00 to Kids Oasis! It is partnership, collaboration and collective good deeds that make us all winners. The discussion about recycling really identifies that we need to be concerned about other things too. Waste management is a pyramid that is upside down. Why is there no profit incentive to recycle? What can we do to better manage our systems that create such waste? KKCB is focusing on two new objectives: Food waste prevention and source reduction. Our programs are sustainable as they reach out to new participants every year. We find our schools counting on us as the leader in everything green, even a sustainable school yard, school garden and community garden. In this land of farming and ranching, KKCB is proud tree hugger!


Keep Keith County Beautiful board of directors are passionate, engaged and extremely loyal. We have a banker, the local community college’s president, a travel agent, an environmental biologist, a landscape architect, the school librarian and the assistant manager of the local Safeway, to name a few. Our board meets once a month and they are expected to join us in all events. KKCB is funded through grants awarded by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. Our educational portion of our operating budget is through these point based grant awards. We must also match grants with cash and inkind donations, which we easily do with the donated time and volunteers. Our annual operating budget last years was just under $180,000.00.We receive monies from Keith County and the City of Ogallala. Our in-kind donations run from containers from our local garbage hauler for free, city heavy equipment for cleanups and tire amnesty days and hours upon hours of local groups cleaning the highways. We also work very closely with the local law enforcement and zoning in assisting the citizens with our annual cleanups. Litter laws with in the state of Nebraska start with a $500.00 fine and go up as more violations are charged. The local police and sheriff’s departments are armed with flyers for our seasonal cleanups and the flyers are given out to any resident who may need assistance in getting debris and garbage cleaned up.

KKCB operates with a staff of one. Me. However, being efficient and delegating management of projects can allow my position to oversee and not micro-manage our volunteers. We work with local government and schools to enhance our programs that align with the objectives of KAB and KNB. For example: Ogallala Public Schools has allowed us to be in the school with teaching recycling to the classes with the “Waste in Place” Keep America Beautiful curriculum. The Prairie View Green Team, part of the Keep America Beautiful Youth Advisory Committee acts as our leaders for our younger students. Our green team is an active group with over 120 kids. Our meetings once a week are seasonally developed, for example we are currently creating boards for our America Recycles Day Zero waste event. (See attachment). I like to think of what we do is to create warrior armies or small green teams that take the idea and education KKCB offers and they run with it. Every year, the Chamber of Commerce fields a class that learns about our area, with about 20 students, called Keith County Area Leadership Class. KCALC adopted our ‘Recycling at Work’ program as their project. Waste Audits were conducted at all businesses, a container for just their waste was placed in town and KCALC recycled over 22 tons of material over the year. KKCB is seen as a leader in our community and is the go to organization for all things green and clean.can be provided if you need it.





Fall comes around all too soon around here and we change our focus back to the schools, the kids and the facilities. Due to the close relationship that we have with all levels at the schools we are able to provide education, programs and group sessions with different ages. We work with the younger kids in the classroom in conjunction with our green team and sponsor a coloring contest and T-shirt Design contest. The T-Shirt design contest is part of a bigger program that we show the business community that education and business can partner to help students understand business. We feature this program in conjunction with America Recycles Day.



Keep America Beautiful grant program

A little history about Keep Keith County Beautiful is we have been working with Nebraska Game and Parks and Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District to assist with the education and waste management at Lake McConaughy. For 5 years we have been able to have the Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program as a part of our waste management. We have been awarded this grant again to assist in the reduction of cigarette butts on our beaches. In our visitors guide we have a full page ad promoting our efforts to help you keep Keith County clean and green.

Nebraska Environmental Trust Grant Recipient

Nebraska Environmental Trust Grant Recipient

Regional Environmental Education

Keep Keith County Beautiful, an affiliate in good-standing with Keep America Beautiful and Keep Nebraska Beautiful, is requesting funding to educate residents and visitors in Keith, Deuel, Perkins, Chase, Hayes, Arthur, and Garden counties about pertinent environmental issues, including Source Reduction, Zero Waste and Recycling Right. 2018 marks our 16th year as an active organization in Keith County and our efforts will be accomplished by continuing to collaborate with our local public entities on programs offered to local residents and utilizing current relationships with businesses, schools and local residents. This on-going public education funding is what has contributed to the high recycling rate and national recognition for the students, schools, community and businesses in Keith County.

Keep America Beautiful National Award Winner

Keep America Beautiful National Award Winner

Program Development/Youth Groups and Affiliate

Chris Vail has led this organization to four national awards by her program development and ability to share the great stories that come from KKCB. Nationally recognized as a leader in children's envirnonmental education, Chris serves on the Keep America Beautiful Education Advisory Board and has produced webinars and programs sharing best practices.


The mission of Keep Keith County Beautiful, an affiliate in good-standing with Keep America Beautiful and Keep Nebraska Beautiful, is to continue to educate residents and visitors in Keith County, Duell, Garden, Perkins, Chase and Arthur counties and surrounding areas, about pertinent environmental issues, including Source Reduction, Recycling Right, Food Waste elimination and sustainable overall waste management.



Ogallala's national awards keep coming in because of the kids in our community. Their passion for Recycling has gained them a top ten finish for 7 years in the national Pepsico Recycle Rally




Recycle McConaughy places 10 full size recycling containers at 5 locations around Lake McConaughy. The containers are put in place May through September, with two containers at each location. We accept aluminum and plastic in one and paper/paperboard/cardboard in the other. The locations around the lake are: Arthur Bay, Martin Bay, The Visitor Center and Van’s Lakeview.





Household Hazardous Waste

Scrap Tire Collection

Electronic Waste Recycling

Business and Special Events



Find us at the office

Chris Vail, Executive Director, P.O Box 673,  2 North Spruce Street, Ogallala,  NE  69153

Give us a ring

308-289-0130 or Chris's cell 303-525-9426