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Citizens Against Litter

December 2006 Newslitter

In this Newslitter: Uptown cleanup December 2; Bloomfield Main Street Redd Up; "Litterers are not so funny"; Copeland Street tear-orist; "I Litter" awards; Litter on Vegas Strip; Garbagevilles; Wilkinsburg report; Verona report; Redd Up Coalition expands; Redd Up Mt. Washington; A Redd Up litter day in Dormont; We want you; Cathedral on Clyde; Adopt-A-Lot; Ask Mr. Litterman

Uptown cleanup December 2

Duquesne University students will join with residents of the Uptown neighborhood on Saturday, December 2 from 10 a.m. to noon for a cleanup. The focus will be on Watson from Stevenson to near the bridge. Gloves and garbage bags will be provided. This coalition between college students and Uptown has been going on for awhile.

Luci-Jo DiMaggio

Bloomfield Main Street Redd Up

Bloomfield businesses aren't standing around. Monthly redd ups along Liberty Avenue have started. The next one is Saturday, December 2 at 3 p.m. Volunteers are to meet at Grosso Roberto Café. before and assemble there after for a "thank you" mini feast.

Early next year, the Main Street Association will organize an Adopt-A-Block program for daily clean ups.

Neighborhood pride is involved here. Businesses and residents are determined to have their famous street redded up. Company's always coming to Bloomfield.

Contact Randy Strothman at 412-322-9720 for more information.

"Litterers are not so funny. They're hilarious."

This happened in Squirrel Hill. But it can and probably does happen in other neighborhoods.

There are row houses on a terrace on Hobart Street near Murray Avenue. Most every time this volunteer visits the corner bakery he sees garbage bags and other stuff lining the sidewalk on non-garbage pick up days. This is a NO NO. On days immediately following garbage pick up days, loose garbage is on the sidewalk and gutter. Obviously the residents couldn't care less about cleaning up the mess.

On Friday afternoon, November 17, this volunteer saw it at its worst. Loose garbage -- dozens, maybe hundreds of pieces -- scattered on the sidewalk below the row houses. It was a repulsive, unhealthy, and disgraceful sight for the residents, neighbors and neighborhood.

It's so hilarious the incident has been reported to Public Works, Councilman Doug Shields' office and the Squirrel Hill Litter patrol.

It might take someone of Art Linklitter's stature to improve this "Litterers are not so funny" situation on Hobart Street.

Copeland Street tear-orist

We may be on the trail of at least one tear-orist. Tear-orists are people who tear large pieces of litter and create much more litter. It's bad enough to pick up just litter. It's worse and takes longer to pick up a tear-orist's mess.

Uncovered on Thanksgiving morning in the 600 block of Copeland Street were torn up pieces of University of Pittsburgh envelopes. Also uncovered there were a dozen or so business cards with the name Donna Wolf, MS, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh.

Litter's gone. Cards can be claimed at .

"I Litter" awards

How do we know these are littering businesses? Citizens Against Litter volunteers pick up their advertising fliers and sections from our streets.

Litter on the Vegas Strip

For the most part, Las Vegas is a very clean city. Hotels along the strip keep their sidewalks, gutters and magnificent landscapes free of litter. However, strip joints and other businesses promote like crazy with canvassers, standing in front of vacant land and building sites, passing out thousands of fliers, resulting in a big mess and most of the litter. Our Walnut Street once resembled that scene in a smaller way before Councilman Bill Peduto's office works hard to convince littering businesses to ease up on their passouts.

Garbagevilles

There are more, of course. Here are some:

Wilkinsburg report

"Wilkinsburg has been using an Abitibi recycle bin for several months now to recycle all sorts of things including outdated library materials that would otherwise be pitched. Also, on October 14, Wilkinsburg Citizens Against Litter held a cleanup of Franklin Avenue, which is a major entry street to the borough. We cleaned it from Ardmore Boulevard all the way to Wood Street and were assisted by the Mayor, several council people, Borough Fire, Police and DPW personnel. It was a big success!"

Jason Cohn

Verona Report

"Thanks for yet another informative Newslitter. We really enjoy hearing of other neighborhoods that have joined the ranks in keeping our city clean.

"The Verona Community Action Group held its second cleanup day on Saturday, November 4, from 10 to noon. Our local paper was on hand for an after photo that will be published and used to recruit other litter getters: to adopt a street or a block to be maintained year-round. We met at the Verona police station where gloves, vests and bags were distributed. Our borough workers picked up the bags of litter at designated corners and hauled them to the dumpster."

LeaAnn Grill

Redd Up Coalition expands

Eighteen neighborhood leaders from Squirrel Hill and Homewood met with representatives of three City Council offices and the United Jewish Federation on Wednesday, November 15 to begin planning their 2007 Weekend Redd Up Coalition scheduled for next April 27-29. South Point Breeze and North Point Breeze have been invited to join the Coalition. South Point Breeze Organization accepted the invitation and was represented at the meeting. Leaders in North Point Breeze are being contacted.

Councilmen Bill Peduto and Doug Shields and Councilwoman Twanda Carlisle, were represented at the meeting. They supported the Redd Up event last year as well when more than 300 adults and children combed the two neighborhoods picking up litter. They were assisted by Public Works managers and crews, the Mayor's Office and environmentally active non-profit groups. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl was on hand for cleanups in both neighborhoods and the picnic that followed.

Principals in public, private and parochial schools in the four neighborhoods will be contacted this time to have teachers and students pick up litter on their campuses on Friday.

Homewood and South Point Breeze will pick up on Saturday; Squirrel Hill will pick up on Sunday. North Point Breeze will pick its day.

Giant Eagle has again pledged to support the four neighborhoods with the Sunday picnic.

There was also preliminary discussion about growing the Coalition in 2008 with invitations to other adjoining neighborhoods.

Redd Up Mt. Washington

Boris Weinstein of Citizens Against Litter and Mary Wilson of PA Cleanways of Allegheny County were speakers at the general meeting of the Mt. Washington Community Development Corporation on Thursday, November 16.

Boris spoke about the Shadyside experience of a successful anti-litter neighborhood initiative. "Have stump speech, will travel" is his calling card.

Mt. Washington and Duquesne Heights are well on their way to organizing residents, assigning them zones, blocks, streets -- whatever configuration fits individual schedules. Thirty-three volunteers have been signed up. More are expected. Organizers are looking to do weekly cleanups. There will also be special clean up days such as the annual Mt. Washington Clean Up Day, Earth Day, the City Wide Spring Cleaning (before the Fourth of July) and Bob O'Connor Day, September 1, to commemorate the passing of Mayor O'Connor, creator of Redd Up.

The Mt. Washington message is: "Let's keep the passion going! One piece at a time, one block at a time."

A Redd Up litter day in Dormont

Saturday, November 18 was a special day for this volunteer and this neighborhood. It's the day Dormont officially started its volunteer anti-litter group, Citizens Against Litter, Dormont. Organizers and volunteers gathered at Fredo's Deli on Potomac Avenue and began mapping their strategy for dividing the neighborhood into zones and assigning volunteers who will do regular redd ups. Ten volunteers began clean ups that morning.

This volunteer from Shadyside pitched in and also picked up litter in Dormont. It's not surprising that all litter is the same: plastic bottles, pop and beer cans, pizza boxes, fast food, candy and junk food wrappers, napkins and facial tissues, discarded school papers. In addition, we identified the two biggest litter offenders that day on those streets. How 'bout Yellow Page Directories and the Post-Gazette Weekly Shopper? This volunteer gets a good feeling when he looks over his shoulder and sees glittering streets transformed from littered streets minutes before. Try it, you'll like it.

In about 1 1/2 hours this volunteer redded up three streets and three alleys between Potomac and Hillsdale including a Port Authority parking lot. Filled littered bags were deposited in business dumpsters along the way.

Dormont needs volunteers. Contact for starters.

On the weekend of November 25 and 26, WPXI-TV NEWS showed video and carried comments of citizens picking up litter in Dormont.

Volunteers in increasing numbers are organizing groups and are picking up "everyday litter" in neighborhoods across Allegheny County.

We want you

The item you're reading right this minute is exactly what we hoped for. This is your invitation to become a Citizens Against Litter volunteer. We have 70 volunteers on our roster in Shadyside and many of them are actively picking up litter when they can. Joining is painless. No dues. No uniforms. No meetings. Nothing but picking up litter. All we need is your name, e-mail address and residence. We'll assign you to a zone or give you a choice of zones. Send your e-mail to or .

We recommend you wear gloves, stuff your pockets with grocery-size plastic bags, and use a picker upper (buy it at Home Depot or Walgreen's) to make it easier on your back. Now you're ready to pick up "everyday litter" from streets, gutters, sidewalks and grassy places. Keep Shadyside (and Pittsburgh) clean.

Cathedral on Clyde

Cathedral Mansions, a residence building on Ellsworth Avenue at Clyde Street, do things their way. For years, they had a large can with a homemade "no parking" sign sitting in the street next to their rear driveway. The can was a fixture until Public Works had it removed from the street. But now it sits on the sidewalk. That's bad enough but the can collects rainwater, discarded fast food, wrappers, litter, bottles and cans. It's an eyesore and a health hazard. The situation has been reported to Public Works for a second time.

Adopt-A-Lot

This volunteer adopted an empty lot in Shadyside several months ago after rubble was cleared from a house destroyed by fire. Litter is removed regularly so it won't become a site for sore eyes. When you're in an adopting mood, think twice..adopt-a-block or adopt-a-lot. Don't wait for someone else to do it. It won't get done.

Ask Mr. Litterman

Q: Would you consider having some kind of special event to focus on litter? A: Mark DeAndrea has a suggestion. He thinks Pittsburgh is ready for a Holiday Garbage Truck Parade on December 26 for people to throw out their gift-wrappings. "We could crown an annual 'Miss Garbage Truck', he says. We could pass out garbage bags during the parade."

Q: Don't you think the time has come for you to consider a national rallying call? A: Mark has a suggestion for this question too. "Replace the original owl mascot and tell America to 'Give a hoot, don't pollute'".

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