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Citizens Against Litter

June 2005 Newslitter

In this Newslitter: A Garbageville victory; Citizens Against Litter on Walnut; Litter-causing retailers; Litter on sale; There's got to be a better way; Litter hot spots; Ask Mr. Litterman; Shopping cart roundup; Call for volunteers; Wanted: Your two cents; Homeowner quote of the week

A Garbageville victory

Good news. Overflow dumpsters and garbage strewn all over the place at 800 Negley Avenue have been cleaned up -- at least for now -- by the owners of the apartment building. The deplorable condition was mentioned in Newslitter 1 and reported to the County Health Department. The property owner was also notified by Citizens Against Litter. Within a week, the mess was eliminated by a private company hired by the owner.

Citizens Against Litter on Walnut

Volunteers of Citizens Against Litter began helping merchants keep Walnut Street free of litter on May 27. Merchants do a great job on Walnut but the street gets a lot of visitors morning, noon and night, weekdays and weekends. Bustling Walnut Street needs a lot of attention. It'll get that and more love too.

Litter-causing retailers

Contrary to public perception, litter is not caused exclusively by people tossing stuff out car windows. In Shadyside, much of the litter on streets and sidewalks is postcard-size advertising circulars. Last month's leading circular litter mess contributors were:

Litter on sale

No one asks us, but Citizens Against Litter volunteers were on Ellsworth Avenue and side streets Thursday, May 19 picking up litter. We heard about the Annual Sidewalk Sale and Art Walk to be presented by the Ellsworth Avenue Merchants and, based on past passive litter pick-up habits, guessed that litter would be on sale too. Volunteers picked up litter on Ellsworth, Maryland, Summerlea, Holden and Rosary Way. We didn't get it all, but we did get more than the merchants got.

There's got to be a better way

A city street cleaner vehicle is followed by a Pittsburgh Parking Authority patrol car. The street cleaner is unable to clean the street because of illegally parked cars. Police ticket cars but streets remain dirty. Wouldn't it make more sense to ticket the illegally parked cars well in advance of the arrival of the street cleaner? This way there's a chance violators will move their cars and more streets -- clogged with six-month old caked-on leaves and other stuff -- will get cleaned more thoroughly.

What's more important? Citizens getting costly tickets or citizens having cleaner streets?

Jake Krohn, Zone 6, gave the city an earful when sending in payments on parking tickets received as a result of parking in a permit-only zone, minus the permit:

"I would like to take this opportunity to encourage stricter enforcement of the parking rules on street sweeping days. I received both tickets after attempts to park two vehicles (mine, and one of a visiting relative) elsewhere to allow the street sweepers to do their job; many others on my street (and, indeed, throughout the city) fail to make such an effort time and again. A more rigid enforcement policy on these offenders would curb such behavior and serve a purpose far more noble -- a clean city -- than does the ticketing of those of us who hope to seek temporary refuge in permit-only areas."

Litter hot spots

Every street gets its fair share of litter, but these may be among the hardest hit.

No longer on the list is Clyde Street. During a recent visit, it was noted that impressive gains have been made. Hardly a hint of litter was seen. Congratulations, volunteers.

These "Garbageville" sites are unsightly, smelly, and harmful to your health. Our list includes:

Do you know of a place that deserves this dubious distinction? Contact us at

Ask Mr. Litterman

Q: Mr. Litterman, rumor has it that you've developed an "Anti-Litterman Top Ten?"
A: I sure have. Here it is:

Anti-Litterers are people who...

  1. Want to be a part of a group doing important things.
  2. Are not ashamed to pick up litter and trash from streets.
  3. Want to be an example for their neighbors.
  4. Accept cleaning up other people's messes.
  5. Want clean sidewalks, streets, and grassy places.
  6. Can't stand looking at litter.
  7. Know litterers are less likely to litter clean places.
  8. Accept keeping streets and sidewalks clean is a day-in, day-out job.
  9. Are passionate about eliminating litter.
  10. Accept that Pittsburgh doesn't have money to keep neighborhoods litter-free.

Q: Mr. Litterman, what unusual litter do you see most often?
A: Discarded parking tickets. They're scattered all over the streets off Walnut Street.

Shopping cart roundup

If you see any Giant Eagle shopping carts in the wild, call the Shopping Cart Recovery Hotline at 412-963-2380. Be prepared to give specifics about the cart's location.

Call for volunteers

We know you're doing your part to keep the city clean. Why not get others involved? There are still several zones left unassigned. Interested parties should contact Boris at

Wanted: Your two cents

The Newslitter is always looking for volunteer contributions. If you have a handy tip or a litter-related story to share, email us at

Homeowner quote of the week

As this homeowner confronts a volunteer carrying a bag of litter: "Hey you, what are you picking up?"

Recent Litter-ature

A complete list of past Litterature is available in our archives.

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