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Citizens Against Litter

September 2006 Newslitter

In this Newslitter: Trash talking; Hospital zone redd up; Negley Avenue dumpster gone; Pittsburgh Trib joins our litter cleanup; Young Judaea leads off; Homewood/Squirrel Hill Cleanup Coalition; Shadyside Sidewalk Sale litter-less; Art Festival litter-less too; Ellsworth Avenue litter-less too; Garbagevilles; Volunteer "Garbageville" information; "I Litter" awards; Special "I Litter" award; Things are picking up; Ask Mr. Litterman; Redd Up web site

Trash talking

The Steelers are back in town and the NFL's best trash talker Joey Porter and his sidekick Larry Foote are expected to do their thing. We disagree with a headline on a story about Porter and Foote in the Post-Gazette. The headline suggests they put a "lid on trash talking". We say, "No, no, no. Let Porter and Foote talk trash...about how it's the baddest thing you can do."

Hospital zone redd up

Anti-litter volunteers have been picking up litter extra days on Centre Ave and Aiken Ave around Shadyside Hospital and the Hillman Center while Mayor O'Connor's been there. You really sense that a lot of other folks have the same idea. Keep things clean. Company's always there these days.

Negley Avenue dumpster gone

It's gone. Gone. This volunteer, minding his own business, was picking up litter on Negley Avenue. He glanced over at 729 Negley and -- lo and behold -- it was gone. The eyesore of eyesores is no more. Remember this day in history: August 8 -- the day the Negley Avenue ugly dumpster came down (like the Berlin Wall). Next, we'll see if the house exterior and the small front yard of dirt are improved.

Pittsburgh Trib joins our litter cleanup

The Pittsburgh Trib has become part of the solution not the problem in our on-going effort to eliminate and control litter in Shadyside. Jim Robertson, a Trib zone manager, became a Citizens Against Litter volunteer in August along with three members on the Trib staff who deliver the Trib PM. Jim and his associates will help us pick up litter in the Ellsworth Avenue and Walnut Street business districts. None of these Trib people live in Shadyside but they do business in Shadyside. This is terrific.

The Trib PM is delivered free to many households in Shadyside and is also available at many business places and newspaper boxes.

Young Judaea leads off

Give Citizens Against Litter an assist. We coordinated the involvement of Young Judaea and the Squirrel Hill Litter Patrol in an upcoming community cleanup in Squirrel Hill. The event will take place Sunday, September 10 (no Steelers game). Young Judaea activities will get underway at 2 p.m. with a picnic in Frick Park near the big slide on Beechwood Boulevard.

Homewood/Squirrel Hill Cleanup Coalition

Residents and volunteers from two communities have come together to forge a coalition with two goals: Build relations between Squirrel Hill and Homewood residents and remove litter from their streets. The litter pick up in Homewood will be Saturday, September 16; the pickup in Squirrel Hill will be Sunday, September 17. Rain or shine, cleanups are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Children in both neighborhoods will become involved as well. School kids will pick up litter in "Stash the Trash" programs around their campuses Friday, September 15.

A party for volunteers from both neighborhoods will be held at Mellon Park from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, September 17.

We would like more volunteers. To volunteer in Homewood call the East Side Community Collaborative at 412-243-2900, Ext. 7. To volunteer in Squirrel Hill, call the United Jewish Federation at 412-992-5222.

Shadyside Sidewalk Sale litter-less

The Shadyside Sidewalk Sale was August 2-5. Walnut Street was never cleaner. Merchants, strollers, bargainer hunters, fun seekers and diners were terrific. You would never have known all that activity was happening on that bustling strip by the clean look of things during and after. Congratulations.

Art Festival litter-less too

Clean as a whistle the next week as well. The Arts Festival has come and gone and Walnut Street was put back together again like it never happened. Art venders brought extra trashcans, brooms and dusters. Every morning, afternoon and evening areas around booths were kept litter-free. Our Chamber of Commerce, police and Public Works joined to make the festival an enjoyable experience.

Ellsworth Avenue litter-less too

This business strip is really clean from Summerlea to College with the exception of 5821 and 5823 Ellsworth where there's a lot of litter in the gutter. Merchants here have their act together and it shows.


There's a new "dirtiest corner in Shadyside." It's the Morewood and Centre corner. Two buildings and the fenced in parking lot fronting on Centre sit on one corner. This is THE major problem area. Ace Bindery, Reed & Witting Company and Brown & Powell are among the tenants in one building. Netspoke and Dermath Diagnostics occupy the second building. On another corner is a building occupied by Mark Evers Antiques and All-State Insurance on the street level. On the third corner is the Saab showroom, a well-maintained property. On the fourth corner is the St. Andrews Lutheran Church, also a well-maintained corner.

This volunteer spent almost an hour picking up litter there a couple weeks ago and that afternoon contacted Public Works to come to the rescue for backup because of the mixture of overgrown weeds, litter and broken glass.

By the way, the term "Garbageville" was coined by a Mt. Troy family about Pittsburgh after they visited five other cities two years ago. They said Pittsburgh was a "Garbageville" by comparison. Conditions are improving citywide since groups like Citizens Against Litter, other neighborhood programs, and Mayor O'Connor's Redd Up program began sprucing things up.

Other garbagevilles in Shadyside are:

Volunteer "Garbagevilles" information

If you know of a residence or an area in "Garbageville" condition in Shadyside, please give us the address or location and we'll post them and bring the information to the attention of Public Works.

"I Litter" awards

Thanks to these businesses and non-profits, fresh unwanted litter on streets, sidewalks and in gutters keeps coming from their advertising fliers. Fortunately, the list remains short:

Special "I Litter" award

We're happy that Mercurio Mulberry Creamery on Copeland Street appears to be popular and successful. You can tell by the number of people visiting the store and walking around eating gelato. You can also tell by the number of plastic containers and tasting spoons that litter Walnut Street and side streets.

Things are picking up

Word from South Side Slopes:

"We have mapped (zoned) out the Slopes and are slowly getting enough volunteers to make the plan [litter pickup] work. As it is, we have many concerned active neighbors who continually pick up. Also, we are entering into a partnership with CCI [Conservation Consultants, Inc.] who has involved Duquesne University students to also be part of the long-term solution. They will be joining in the zones set up in the Flats and Slopes. Also, since a large part of the Slopes has been designated "Elm Street" we are joining many groups to educate and enlist for the betterment of the Slopes. Thanks for your [Citizens Against Litter] direction and desire."

Word from Regent Square:

"Things are going pretty well. We are looking at around 15 people currently who have shown an interest. We increased the number of zones from 12 to 15. We would like to do something with Nine-Mile Watershed Association about picking up trash in the park [Frick]. We are in touch with them."

Word from Brookline:

"We had some steam built up after Earth Day and our board agreed to formally start a Citizens Against Litter Brookline group. We adjourned for the summer and will reconvene in September so we will try to refocus our efforts. Some of us are still picking up litter on Brookline Blvd. as well as the Tremont alley [behind the main street]."

Ask Mr. Litterman

Q: "I'm a resident of Bethlehem, PA. I'm looking for input on how and when your group started, what Pittsburgh officials have done to help, and if you have seen an improvement in the cleanliness of your neighborhood?"
A: We started talking about Citizens Against Litter in late 2003 but actually launched in April 2005. From one volunteer we have grown into a group of about 70. The City has been very supportive, especially Public Works, our councilman, our mayor, merchants and residents. Shadyside is definitely cleaner because our volunteers pick up litter most days, not just once or twice a year.

Q: Are you compulsive about litter?
A: Yes. Here's one example. Walking on Westminster Place the other day without gloves and a litter bag, Mr. Litterman spotted two pieces of litter and did not bend to gather them. He walked about 50 feet more; stopped; doubled back and picked them up. Advice: be half Mr. Litterman and you'll pick up a lot of litter.

Redd Up web site

To stay current with "redd up" activities in the city, we suggest you click on, a web site devoted to a cleaner and safer Pittsburgh.

Recent Litter-ature

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

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