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Citizens Against Litter

September 2005 Newslitter

In this Newslitter: We're involved with six programs; "I'm really impressed with our progress"; Beer garden closed; Keep your eye on Holden Street; Other "Garbageville" hot spots; Liberty School flunks; Confessions of Mr. Litterman; An area to watch; Company's coming; Artful litter cleanup #1; Artful litter cleanup #2; Senior moment; Road service; The Tear-It-Up joker is still at it; Kids come clean; Litter flashback; "Your lit parade"; "I Litter" awards; Ask Mr. Litterman

We're involved with six programs

Citizens Against Litter is involved in a number of neighborhood programs. There's our own program in Shadyside, our main focus. We've also had communications and meetings or will have meetings with anti-litter groups on the South Side, South Side Slopes, Mount Washington, Mexican War Streets and Squirrel Hill. We've participated in meetings with city officials and non-profit agencies, such as the Clean Pittsburgh Commission. All of us are working toward a common goal -- a cleaner Pittsburgh.

"I'm really impressed with our progress"

Take it from one of our volunteers who's out there regularly: "I have to say I think we are really making a difference. Over the weekend I was able to clean up 5th Avenue all the way to Shady Avenue in the same amount of time that it used to take to clean up to Negley. I'm really impressed with our progress."

Beer garden closed

Great news. In two previous Newslitters we told you about the house at 5804 Maryland Avenue with the empty beer keg, beer bottles and cans and drinking cups in the front yard. It was a beer garden. Now it's all gone, including the overgrown shrubs. In their place is a neat, cleared area covered with wood chips. The property looks normal again and chances are it will stay that way.

Keep your eye on Holden Street

There's a new nasty litter place in Shadyside. It's concentrated in the area bounded by Ellsworth, Maryland, Summerlea and Holden. Holden is a serious eyesore. That was evident after walking inspections on August 20 and 22.

Those four streets attract litter like a plague. It seems the only way to control litter there is to pick up after litterers almost daily.

The condition of the following four apartment buildings, standing side-by-side on Holden, was reported to the City's Environmental Service Department on August 22:

Overflowing, uncovered, and overturned (but not picked up) garbage containers were in the front, back and side of the buildings.

Other "Garbageville" hot spots

Last month's list was short. Not this time. Offenders include:

Liberty School flunks

One of our volunteers spent two hours picking up litter in and around Liberty School on Ellsworth Avenue on Sunday, August 21. He collected 10 shopping bags of litter, mostly plastic water and juice bottles. Also, there were beer bottles and cans. Pittsburgh Public School District should be cleaning the grounds when school's in session and out. However, users of the playgrounds should be more responsible for its appearance.

Confessions of Mr. Litterman

The most neglected stretch in Shadyside is along Ellsworth Avenue from Spahr Street to Emerson Street (part of this stretch is opposite the Busway). Mr. Litterman and volunteers will begin paying more attention to this area, starting with visits and pickups. We need more volunteer coverage.

An area to watch

That would be around Alder and Emerson where Hunt Armory and DePaul Institute are located. The larger area covers streets between Highland and Shady Avenues.

These streets need more attention and picking up too. We need more volunteer coverage.

Company's coming

The annual Shadyside House Tour will be held Sunday, October 2. The event attracts people from all over the area. A suggestion for anti-litter volunteers to time your cleanup efforts as close as possible to House Tour Sunday so that our visitors will see our streets, gutters, pavements and grassy places as nice looking as our beautiful houses.

Artful litter cleanup #1

The Walnut Street Art Festival has come and gone, and so has the litter. The producers of the Art Festival inherited a clean, litter-free Walnut Street and left it in the same condition. The day after litter cleanup was an absolute breeze. In fact, the only litter to be found was adjacent to overflowing trash cans and recycling containers in a few places.

Artful litter cleanup #2

The Ellsworth Avenue Festival cleanup was practically a repeat of Walnut Street. Show promoters left the avenue in good shape.

Senior moment

One kind of senior moment is good: When seniors, with plenty of time on their hands, pitch in and pick up litter around their homes and in the neighborhood. The other kind of senior moment is not so good. One of our senior volunteers paused recently in front of a dumpster, removed gloves, and knotted the plastic bag of litter. What were tossed into the dumpster, though, was not the litter but the gloves.

Road service

A volunteer swears he saw this. A truck driver stops on Negley Avenue at Maryland. Gets out of his truck. Bends. Picks up an empty beer bottle. Gets back in his truck. Drives away. Is this anti-litter stuff catching on or what?

The Tear-It-Up joker is still at it

"There I was -- on pricey Devonshire-- ending my two hours of picking up litter when I came across one of an anti-litterer's worst experiences. Instead of just littering by tossing some credit card receipts on the street, This Joker tears his or her receipts into about 30 small pieces and drops them on the street. That's one litterer who deserves a fine."

Fellow volunteers, I hope this doesn't happen to you.

Kids come clean

This happened at Jitters, at the corner of Walnut and Ivy. Three young kids are having ice cream. They have used about seven napkins. Some of the napkins are on the table. Some are already on the pavement. A volunteer is having an ice cream cone too. The volunteer just finished picking up litter from the four-block area of St. James, Pembroke, Westminster and Amberson. Those four blocks surrendered only seven pieces of litter. The volunteer is already holding his head, thinking, "Will these kids equal in a three-foot square area the litter output of four large city blocks?"

Have no fear. The kids come through. They pick up all seven napkins from the table and the pavement and throw them into a trashcan 40 feet away. And without reminders from their mother.

Litter flashback

A volunteer remembers. Twelve years ago his wife, new to Shadyside, suggested to a member/officer of a local neighborhood group, "We should do something about the litter in Shadyside." The reply: "We don't do garbage". Probably meaning that it's the City's job. Fortunately that attitude is changing.

"Your Lit Parade"

Not to be confused with Your Hit Parade, some Citizens Against Litter volunteers have come up with a "TOP TEN LITS" for the month. The most popular picked up lits are:

"I Litter" awards

These businesses and nonprofits are responsible for a great deal of litter with their advertising flyers:

Ask Mr. Litterman

Q: A walker's comment when he saw me carrying litter in my hands. "No end to the litter. Right?"
A: There will always be litter, but imagine how out-of-control it would be if citizens don't pick it up.

Q: Who do you call to get those Giant Eagle shopping carts off the streets and back to the stores?
A: Giant Eagle wants them back more than you want them off the street. There's a special number for this retrieval service with nice people on the other end of the phone. Call (412) 963-2380. Tell them Mr.Litterman told you to call. (We need more love and attention.)

Recent Litter-ature

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


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