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Citizens Against Litter

August 2006 Newslitter

In this Newslitter: For the Mayor; Poison ivy cure; Illegal dumpsite on wheels; Breaking news: Trib litters; Your Lit Parade; Not so dapper; Shopping plaza redd up; Homewood/Squirrel Hill cleanup; Young Judaea cleanup; Citizens Against Litter, Regent Square; Citizens Against Litter, Squirrel Hill; Ask Mr. Litterman; Redd Up web site

For the Mayor

This volunteer wanted to do something to support Mayor O'Connor who is spending some serious time at Shadyside Hospital and Hillman Center to rid himself of his cancer. Knowing "redding up" the city is on his mind constantly, this volunteer spent Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (July 12-14), removing litter from Centre Avenue. In fact, while a news conference was in progress inside Wednesday, this volunteer was picking up four plastic bags of litter outside. A lot of "company's coming" to see the Mayor and a lot of media is at the hospital so we're sure the Mayor would want things "redded up."

Poison ivy cure

Once there was an attractive home, front yard and tidy side at 701 Ivy Street until the new owner began remodeling. Suddenly there was a serious litter mess and health hazard developing at the side of the property. Public Works was notified. Fortunately, the mess was eliminated quickly. Thank you Public Works.

Illegal dumpsite on wheels

We're getting complaints about a dumpster that has "litterally" moved in at 729 Negley Avenue. The dumpster has been on what-used-to-be-the grassy place in front of the house for months. Complaints have been forwarded to Councilman Bill Peduto and Public Works. The owners may be in violation of codes that permit dumpsters to be at sites for extended times. It's an illegal dumpsite on wheels. Bundles of garbage are being tossed into the dumpster. One thing baffles this volunteer about this situation: there are beautiful,well-maintained homes on each side of this property dump. Why haven't these homeowners made a stink about their situation for all these months? We'll keep you updated on this illegal dumpsite on wheels.

Breaking news: Trib litters

The next time the Pittsburgh Trib writes an editorial about litterers it should look at itself in the mirror. The Trib passes out free PM newspapers in Shadyside. It may do the same all over the city. The problem is, unread Tribs are everywhere but where they should be -- on streets, sidewalks, porches, and house/apartment building steps and entrances. This volunteer gathered up about 30 two-day old Tribs from two apartment entrances on Negley and Elmer. The Trib easily wins the "I Litter" award in the business category for the month of July. Other "I Litter" awards go to:

Your Lit Parade

Your Lit Parade is a ranking of the kinds of litter volunteers tell us they pick up most often. It's like an unpopularity poll and hardly scientific. And the winner this month (drumroll please) is ZIP LOCK BAGS. Followed by advertising flyers, tissues and napkins, cigarette packs, Trib PM, newspaper ad pages, City Paper, plastic cups and lids, straws and straw wrappers, beer and soft drink cans (mostly crushed) and plastic water bottles.

Not so dapper

Last month Councilman Bill Peduto sent a letter to the owners of the Carlyle Arms (Centre and Negley) urging them to cooperate and help keep Dapper Way (behind their property) clean. We're monitoring conditions there. Dapper Way is an alley we're not proud of in Shadyside. Dapper Way -- also on the other end starting behind Molnar's Car Service -- is always full of litter. It's an eyesore, a problem from one end to the other. This volunteer recently spent a morning there. Controlling litter is a challenge but, hey, we wouldn't be in business if things were cleaner. That's why we get the big bucks.

Shopping plaza redd up

The Panera/state store shopping plaza on Centre Avenue below Aiken Avenue has been redded up. Trash that collected by the two dumpsters and the utility boxes in the rear of the plaza is gone. Sure, there will be fresh trash and litter but this volunteer is betting the powers to be will stay ahead of it.

Homewood/Squirrel Hill cleanup

Twenty-five people from Homewood and Squirrel Hill, the Mayor's office, the offices of several council people, Public Works, volunteer litter groups, religious-affiliation groups and the communities met earlier last month at the Homewood YMCA. A concept became a project to be called the Homewood-Squirrel Hill Cleanup Coalition. The people who came together agreed to clean their communities on the weekend of September 16-17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. followed by a social at Mellon Park beginning at 2 p.m. Both communities have litter groups that are active on a regular basis but leadership in both communities understands that the best way to stay ahead of litter is to attack it regularly. The uniqueness of this project is communities planning a one-focus project in their own way and coming together to celebrate neighborly pride. The next planning meeting of the coalition is August 7.

Young Judaea Cleanup

Young Judaea, a group of young Pittsburghers who seek engagement with community projects, will work with the Squirrel Hill litter patrol and Citizens Against Litter for a cleanup on Sunday, September 10. The litter group in Squirrel Hill welcomes the help. The litter patrol has volunteers but can use more. Squirrel Hill, with more than 25,000 residents, is the most densely populated of Pittsburgh's 89 neighborhoods. Planning for this effort is underway.

Citizens Against Litter, Regent Square

Boy, does that sound good. Jared Delaney and Alina Keebler are citizens making things happen. Jared says Regent Square is now divided into 12 clean up zones and volunteers are picking up in seven of them. More volunteers are needed.

To volunteer in Regent Square, please e-mail Jared Delaney at or e-mail

Citizens Against Litter, Squirrel Hill

This volunteer is getting a little tired defending the appearance of Forbes Avenue and one block on Shady Avenue and Murray Avenue off Forbes. People generalize and say, "Oh, Squirrel Hill is a disaster." That statement is old school and totally wrong. The litter patrol in Squirrel Hill is working very hard to keep Forbes litter-free and the volunteers should feel real good about their progress. They are winning the war on litter. This volunteer casually inspects Forbes. It is immaculate. Saturday, July 8, 15 and 22 were the last visits. This volunteer picked up about a dozen pieces of litter on Forbes and the short block on Shady and Murray on each visit. The visits were around noon. Do you remember how that street formerly looked? With more volunteers and given time, citizens will get all the cross streets -- Darlington, Hobart, Douglas, Phillips, and Beacon -- glittering just like Forbes.

Ask Mr. Litterman

Q: It really happened. A women living (or staying) in a house on St. James, sees me pick up litter. She asks me what I was doing? And then says, "What's litter?"
A: I said it was garbage. She understood that.

Q: "Do you think we're winning or losing the battle against litter?"
A: I think we're winning...slowly. I'm pleased the streets are cleaner. I'm not pleased that I never see anyone bending and picking up litter. More people must be picking up around their residences because the neighborhood is definitely cleaner. This also indicates people are littering less.

Redd Up web site

Pittsburgh has a web site devoted to cleaning neighborhoods of litter and blight. It became official June 9. Visit it for information, facts and figures, breaking news, and personality sketches. The Office of Mayor Bob O'Connor is responsible and is managing the site.

Recent Litter-ature

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

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