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Citizens Against Litter

May 2005 Newslitter

Welcome to the Shadyside Newslitter! This is the first issue in what we hope to be a regular newsletter.

In this Newslitter: Where's the litter?; Litter hot spots; Shopping carts-to-go; Ask Mr. Litterman; Dispatches from the litter front; Call for volunteers; Wanted: Your two cents

Where's the litter?

March 18th was the beginning of the end for litter on the streets of Shadyside. Imagine, in five weeks 19 volunteers have removed "old" litter -- the stuff that has been around since winter -- from about 70 percent of Shadyside. Keeping "fresh" litter off streets and under control becomes the community's ongoing challenge.

A lot of people are helping. Merchants on Walnut Street have that street looking terrific. Keeping the Ellsworth and Center Avenue business districts litter-free are projects. It also shows that people may be littering less, and many homeowners are bending over and using brooms and dustpans more.

There are two kinds of litterers. Active litterers throw stuff out windows and drop stuff on streets, gutters, and grassy places. Passive litterers walk out their front door and refuse to bend down to pick up litter that is on and around their property.

There are two kinds of anti-litterers. Active anti-litterers pick up litter regularly. Passive anti-litterers talk, talk, talk about how disgusting litter is but don't pick up a piece of paper.

Citizens Against Litter is a volunteer group that believes that people who care must clean up for people who don't. Our short-term goal is to make Shadyside as close to litter-free as possibe. The longer-term goal is for other neighborhoods to follow our lead.

Litter hot spots

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

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

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

Shopping carts-to-go

With several Giant Eagle stores within walking distance, Shadyside tends to collect a number of shopping carts. Luckily, these large pieces of litter are among the easiest to get rid of. You can call the Shopping Cart Recovery Hotline at 412-963-2380. Be prepared to give specifics about the cart's location. Response time is quick.

Ask Mr. Litterman

Q: Mr. Litterman, how much litter do you think there is in Shadyside?
A: After the "old" litter is removed, removing and controlling "fresh" litter is not that bad. I estimate there are 15 pieces of litter per block. With about 600 blocks, that comes to 9,000 pieces of litter. If you're the pessimistic sort, you can even double that to 18,000. With 50 volunteers doing their job regularly, each volunteer would be removing 180 to 360 pieces of litter.

Q: Mr. Litterman, can you estimate how many cigarette butts are on Shadyside streets?
A: With 100 to 200 butts per block and 600 blocks total, there may be somewhere between 60,000 and 120,000 butts gracing our fair neighborhood. But(t), we're not ready to kick butt yet.

Dispatches from the litter front: Recycle that litter!

When I go out, I usually pack several blue grocery bags along with my usual white bags. As I pick up litter, I separate the throwaway materials from the recyclable items. It's amazing how much litter consists of plastic, glass, and aluminum. Finding a place to deposit the blue bags is sometimes a challenge, but knowing that I'm keeping additional garbage from going to a landfill makes it worth the effort.

-- Jake Krohn, Zone 6

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

Recent Litter-ature

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

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