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Citizens Against Litter

December 2007 Newslitter

In this Newslitter: Our mission; Meet & Greet Mixer; Weekly Shopper becomes litter; "Earth Against Litter"; "We could have a cleaner region"; Keeping Route 28 clean; Recycling at Liberty School; On a clear day; No friend at the inn; Kids Against Litter; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Tell Mr. Litterman

Our mission

To inspire people throughout the city and region to collect litter and connect neighborhoods.

Meet & Greet Mixer

For months, the Clean Pittsburgh Commission has been contacting people in every city neighborhood, identifying leaders who are organizing neighborhood cleanups. A Meet & Greet networking event will be held Thursday, January 17 at the Schenley Park Ice Skating Rink, 6 to 8 p.m. Joining the Clean Pittsburgh Commission at this very first Clean Pittsburgh Steward event will be Mayor Ravenstahl, elected officials and department heads and supervisors. It will be all about litter and blight and connecting neighborhoods. Invitations will go out soon.

Weekly Shoppers become litter

The Weekly Shopper is an advertising section that sometimes arrives with the Post-Gazette or is hand-delivered by itself to homes in many neighborhoods to non-subscribers who outnumber subscribers.

Several months ago the Newslitter carried an item about how upset a resident in Greenfield has been over the litter that is created by unwanted Weekly Shoppers that are tossed onto his property. He wants the practice stopped and was told by the Post-Gazette that it would. Another Greenfield resident contacted the Newslitter two weeks ago with a similar complaint. Apparently, the Post-Gazette has not been effective in stopping all unwanted carrier deliveries of Weekly Shopper sections. We at the Newslitter spoke recently to Adam Bush at the Post-Gazette. He said policy is that when homeowners complain and want delivery to cease, he calls the mailing service to end delivery at that address. This is the advice we offer homeowners in Greenfield and all over the city who want these deliveries to end:

"Earth Against Litter"

Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22. Please circle April 18, 19 and 20, 2008 on your calendar. These are the dates for the spring Redd Up. A third grade student from Kentucky Avenue School in Shadyside suggested the name, "Earth Against Litter." It fits perfectly for this special weekend. Most neighborhoods responding in our October Redd Up results survey say they'll participate again in the spring. Citizens Against Litter has started organizing support of city neighborhoods. We are also making an aggressive push to organize more participation in Allegheny and Beaver counties.

So far, 112 neighborhoods/communities say they will take part in the spring Redd Up; 69 Pittsburgh neighborhoods, 30 municipalities in Allegheny County and 13 municipalities from Beaver County.

"We could have a cleaner region"

On November 19, a letter to the editor appeared in the Post-Gazette from Adam R. Forgie, the Mayor of Turtle Creek. The headline read: "With a minimal effort from all, we could have a cleaner region."

"Fall is the time of year," the Mayor wrote, "that we all prepare for the upcoming winter months and reluctantly accept the shorter days and long nights.

"The leaves and weeds die off, revealing tons of litter that have accumulated over the spring and summer months. One could spend unimaginable amounts of time picking up trash from the east side of our county from North Versailles to Downtown at Point State Park.

"When spring arrives, we try to mend the wounds we have put on our environment by coming together for a day to participate in town-wide cleanup days. Those events are ever so important and must continue; however, we as responsible citizens, must all do our part every single day to clean our streets and neighborhoods. We must educate our younger citizens on how important it is to care about the environment. I challenge you as citizens of one of the most beautiful areas in our nation to get out on your streets and pick up the trash that is damaging our communities.

"When walking my dog in my community, I arm myself with a garbage bag. Set an example for others to follow. Recruit your children or neighboring youth to do the same. Create some type of game with an incentive for picking up the most trash and for using garbage cans when appropriate.

"Although the trash may not be yours, we all have a responsibility to our environment, which can be fulfilled with minimal effort."

Keeping Route 28 clean

The "Help Keep Route 28 Clean" volunteers, committed to community service after PJ Shepherd was killed in an accident on this road, had a clean up day in late October. PJ's sister, Michelle, wrote recently. "We had 15 people. We cleaned up, collecting 50+ tires, 40 bags of trash, a 100 gallon empty fuel tank, a few doors, a 10' wooden ladder, anti-freeze containers filled with used oil, miscellaneous car parts, and other stuff.

"As for doing this in April when the next big Redd Up is planned, we have scheduled Saturday, April 19 for our next clean up and would love to be counted along with other groups and neighborhoods."

Recycling at Liberty School

Majorie Murphy, Principal of Liberty School, writes to us with this bit of good news:

"I would like to inform our Shadyside neighbors that Liberty is participating in a recycling program for the collection of newspapers, magazines, catalogs, mail, envelopes, folders, colored paper and fax/copy paper. Our recycling container is located at the entrance of our parking lot on Ivy Street and all of our neighbors and Shadyside residents are invited to participate in our recycling endeavor.

"Our recycling program will increase our student's awareness of the need to protect our environment and focus on student and teacher activities that will support this initiative. We will continue to support our neighbors in the effort to remove litter from our campus and surrounding areas."

On a clear day

Now that the trees are bare, you can see the fruits of the Trib Against Litter clean up of the Aiken Avenue Bridge hillside. Trib volunteers took on the hillside in the summer, hauling away dozens of bags and trash (TV set, bike parts, etc.). We knew they had a great clean up. No one else could see a cleaner hillside until now. Thanks Trib.

No friend at the inn

After three years it was bound to happen. I was turned away at the inn. First time. By Bruegger's Bagel Bakery on Aiken Avenue at Walnut Street. I pick up litter on the streets of Shadyside. Even when I'm taking a walk. Commercial streets. Residential streets. Several weeks ago, I had a Giant Eagle bag half filled with litter picked up from St. James, Aiken, Pembroke, Amberson, and Westminster streets and from that little square of specialty shops off Aiken. I was about to throw the bag in a waste container behind the bakery when the manager, apparently on a break, stopped me and turned me away with the threat of calling the police. His actions don't encourage people to pick up litter. What's ironic about this incident is that when I went around to the front of Bruegger's, I picked up litter from Bruegger's sidewalk. A large drink cup, a promotional flyer and a section of a newspaper. I deposited Bruegger's trash in someone else's waste container.

Kids Against Litter

School-age youth, from elementary grades through high school, are extremely important to neighborhood efforts to pick up and keep the spread of litter under control. Random surveying indicates more youth are picking up litter than adults in organized clean ups. This was the case in October in Homewood, Squirrel Hill, Brighton Heights, Aspinwall, and even in Shadyside where a group of 55 students from a private school was larger than four or five other groups in that neighborhood. Schools, with passionate principals and teachers, can and do motivate large numbers of their students to redd up around their campuses.

"I Litter" awards

Here's a list of businesses and non-profits that litter in Shadyside. Believe me, don't blame only the drive-by litter thrower or casual dropper.

Garbagevilles

For those who need to be reminded, Garbagevilles are houses, buildings, streets, alleys and places that look awful because of litter, garbage, upswept leaves, and other stuff. They're eyesores. Here are some this month. Most have been on the list forever.

Important phone numbers

Need to contact the city about something that has been bothering you? Call the 311 Response line (alternate number is 412-255-2620). Your request will be logged and sent to the proper department. Want to contact someone directly? The following list may help.

Tell Mr. Litterman

"Thank you for talking with us. I will clean up litter near my house and I will clean up litter in the city and I will pick up litter in the park. I will be happy in Kids Against Litter," wrote Oscar P., a student at Kentucky Avenue School.

Recent Litter-ature

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


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