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Citizens Against Litter

May 2007 Newslitter

In this Newslitter: Redd Up Coalition a success; Two Squirrel Hill eyesores; City Council proclamation; "We had a blast cleaning Spahr Street"; The Great PA Clean Up; Central North Side CleanUP; Connect Greenfield connecting; Out SWAT'n; More Greenfield; Leave it to Beaver County; "I Litter Awards"; Garbagevilles still around; Hope for Liberty School; Dormont cleanup; Citizens Against Litter volunteers; Ding, dong, bang, bam; Ask. Mr. Litterman

Redd Up Coalition a success

There are many ways to measure success. We'd say pulling together five neighborhoods in one "Collecting litter and Connecting as neighbors" effort is a success. Over 1,000 adults, teens and school kid volunteers picking up litter is a success. Several hundred people attending a combined neighborhood picnic in Mellon Park speak to success.

This is what was going on in Pittsburgh East April 27-29. The neighborhoods of Homewood, Squirrel Hill, North Point Breeze, South Point Breeze and Park Place spent six months planning this coalition cleanup. Meanwhile, East Liberty, Highland Park volunteers and Greenfield volunteers were removing litter from their own neighborhoods on the same weekend.

Two Squirrel Hill eyesores

Squirrel Hill is cleaner after this past weekend but there are two eyesores in the heart of Squirrel Hill that, although addressed, have been brought to the attention of city officials. These are the "dumpster dump" between Panera's, Brueggers (and other stores) on Murray near Forbes and the second eyesore is the walkway on Darlington Rd. behind the Manor Theater. I won't bore you with details of what we pulled out of these places. The important thing is to get public officials to take serious action to correct the situation.

City Council proclamation

Redd Up volunteers in the Homewood-Squirrel Hill-Point Breezes Coalition were recognized with a proclamation from City Council for their achievement of establishing and sustaining their organization. Leaders of the Coalition were joined at ceremonies by four members of the Public Works Department who work along side them. This was the highlight of the recognition.

"We had a blast cleaning Spahr Street"

Just wanted to let you know how things turned out. We had a blast, this cleaning was actually fun! Neighbors came out, the weather was perfect and the vests and gloves were a huge draw.

You could actually see a difference in the street after we picked up. It really made me happy to see people excited about being responsible and helping take care of things. I'm thinking about next year and how we can make it even bigger.

Thanks for being an inspiration!

Carol, Citizens Against Litter volunteer

The Great PA Clean Up

And the weekend before, dozens of Pittsburgh area communities and hundreds of volunteers participated in neighborhood cleanup events that were taking place all over the state.

In Pittsburgh, the Clean Pittsburgh Commission sponsored a volunteers recognition party at the Vietnam Pavilion in Schenley Park. Several hundred volunteers were feted to pizza, beverages and live music. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Councilmen Bill Peduto and Doug Shields were on hand to shake hands and give out individual awards.

Central North Side CleanUP Days

We will continue our tradition of holding First Saturdays CleanUP days in 2007 since they have been so successful and have made such a difference. This is your chance to make our neighborhood a more beautiful place. They will be held the first Saturday of each month with the exception of the season kick off, which was held on April 21 so that we could be part of the Great American Cleanup which is celebrated across the nation on Earth Day. The other exception will be in September when we move the cleanup to coincide with the Mexican War Street annual house and garden tour.

We meet at the Saturdays listed below at 10 a.m. at Mechanic's Retreat Park at the corner of Buena Vista and Jacksonia.

As a special part of the Central North Side CleanUP on April 21, Christine Whispell of Moxie DaDa at the Firehouse on Arch Street sponsored a cleanup project of the City Steps where Jefferson meets the top of Arch.

Vouchers for a delicious cup of Beleza coffee or tea and pastries are provided. After that we disperse, some to the streets and sidewalks with bags and gloves, others to the gardens to pick up litter, plant, weed, prune, etc. We supply trash bags and work gloves for those who need them.

We plan to continue to focus on Drover's Repose (corner of N. Taylor and Brighton Road) and Mechanic's Retreat gardens. At some point we want to have a couple dump trucks full of topsoil delivered to Drover's to fill in an area that has subsided.

This is a great way to meet new people and do something good for the neighborhood. Even if you can only give a half-hour, it will be a half-hour of litter and weeds that disappear. Hope to see many old and new friends there. Here are the dates:

John Engle

Connect Greenfield connecting

Greenfield has it is together. Connect Greenfield, the organization focused on keeping Greenfield clean, now has 43 volunteers who have adopted a block and public space. The organization would like more volunteers. To sign up, contact Pat Hassett.

Hassett, the Adopt-a-Block coordinator, recently sent an e-mail to volunteers. This is what he said in part:

"As a participant we ask that you:

We also ask that you consider removing dated paper signs from telephone poles and overgrown weeds in the sidewalks or curbs as need and time warrant.

Should you need additional help in picking up an unusually large amount of trash or litter you can call in the CG SWAT (Super Warriors Against Trash) team by e-mailing me."

Out SWAT'n

The first Greenfield SWAT deployment on April 21 was a success. SWAT members hit the stairs next to the Murray Avenue Bridge and the stairs off Winterburn Extension. They picked up 13 bags of trash, 24 blue bags of recyclables, and an assortment of "bulk" items including half a bowling ball, internal cables, lawn mower, six tires, a Rhino, and a pool.

More Greenfield

Congratulations and thanks to the 37 volunteers who helped pick up the Run and Magee Field Saturday morning (Apr. 28). Altogether we picked up 98 bags of recyclables (77 at Magee and 21 in the Run), 59 large bags of trash (14 at Magee and 45 in the Run), and an assortment of bulk items including a Hazmat suite, a bicycle, three Christmas trees (one with lights), a grocery cart, home circuitry, sports paraphernalia, three huge field light bulbs, and a chandelier. The beers of choice for Magee field visitors -- Keystone Ice and Coors Light.

Also thanks to our sponsors - Elena's Country Market (coffee), Au Bon Pain (pastries), Giant Eagle (bags), and Big Jim's who graciously fed us all pizza and soda.

Thanks again to all! Greenfield is a lot cleaner because of you!

Patrick and Theresa Hassett

Leave it to Beaver County

Just reporting in. Our Greensweep Group picked up 50 bags of trash from the exit and entrance ramps into the towns of Beaver and Bridgewater. The sad thing is there are still sections we didn't get to... hopefully in a few weeks.

A group from Beaver Library picked up along the river and main street of the town. And we now have volunteer groups in Monaca, Ambridge, Midland and New Brighton. It's exciting.

Just a thought. One of the big things we can't even pick up is the cigarette filter. We were thinking maybe we should start hounding our legislators to ban filtered cigarettes. Everyone switch to Camels or something. Between cellophane wrappers and cigarette butts, smokers are by far, the largest litter group in our area.

Thanks for all your hard work.

Mary Anne Peluso

"I Litter Awards"

In Shadyside -- and probably in other neighborhoods -- businesses are as much responsible for litter as individuals. If businesses could be curbed from their litter-causing advertising practices, our streets would be cleaner. Here is a partial list of business litterers. They have earned "I Litter Awards".

Garbagevilles still around

Shadyside's worst messes don't go away and probably never will. It's just that the Garbareville listings have not been appearing in recent issues of the Newslitter. Here are some I see as I walk my cleanup zone. In some garbagevilles, litter on the property is the mess. In others, it's the accumulation of soggy, caked on leaves on sidewalks, steps and gutters that residences of the property don't remove.

Hope for Liberty School

Early last month this volunteer came face-to-face with the principal and some of teachers with their students outside Liberty School on Ellsworth Avenue. They saw me picking up litter and remarked how neighborly it was for me to do this. There was a collective comment and the nodding of heads that they will start marshalling their students to pick up the messes they make during recess breaks and before and after school. The school bus drivers and parents contribute to the litter. We'll see if the teachers practice what they preach or if it's just talk, talk, talk. Liberty School is one of the most littered parcels of real estate in Shadyside.

Dormont cleanup

Two of us from Citizens Against Litter, Shadyside -- Jake Krohn and Boris Weinstein -- spent part of the morning Saturday, April 14 in Dormont. We talked to a handful of passionate anti-litter volunteers who pick up under the name Citizens Against Litter, Dormont. We joined them in a neighborhood pickup following our coffee klatch at Fredo's Deli. Jake and I did three streets and alleys, including Espy and Glenmore streets. We ran into new volunteers Tom Glitz and his two young sons who were picking up litter and cigarette butts on Potomac Avenue from Adrian's Pizza to West Liberty Avenue (Do you know how long it takes to pick up stuff wedged between the grates around main street trees? It takes a lot of patience and passion.) More residents would have been attending our meeting/cleanup except that another group of residents was cleaning up Dormont Park.

Citizens Against Litter volunteers

Stand up and be counted. We need more volunteers in Shadyside. And everywhere. Contact us and we'll assign you an area. It'll be like rolling out of bed into the street.

E-mail or call boris.weinstein@verizon.net or 412-688-9120 or e-mail info@citizensagainstlitter.org.

Ding, dong, bang, bam

Looking for a way to bring some music and fun to your next Redd Up neighborhood clean up and celebration? Here's what the Homewood-Squirrel Hill-Point Breezes neighborhoods did. Try it. It's all about litter.

A "Found Sound Band."

Kip Ruefle and Jeff Berman directed the Coalition's Found Sound Band at its picnic. Also participating were players from the Samba Drum Ensemble and Three Rivers Thunder Drum Circle.

Here are some suggestions for instruments:

Colanders and or pasta pots played with hands, empty soda bottles with some raw rice or beans (for a maraca shaker effect), plastic speckle buckets played with your hands, sticks or wooden spoons, various lengths of PVC pipe played with ping pong paddles (ala The Blue Men Group), empty water cooler jugs (make great drums played with your hands), wooden or metal spoons played together, tin cups or metal lids played with wooden or plastic chopsticks, large Tupperware containers (some have better sounds then others), a set of small-to-large empty tin cans played with bamboo skewers with superballs attached to them.

"In other words, pretty much anything that can go ding, dong, bing, bang, bong, dum, tak, tik, tek, ka, etc., as long as it is safe for a child to play with," say Kim and Jeff.

Ask Mr. Litterman

Q: What does it take to organize a Citizens Against Litter neighborhood group?
A: In a few words, "Pride in your neighborhood." Neighborhoods all over the city are getting serious about picking up litter. They are not waiting for someone else to do it for them. If you are a self-starter, encourage six to ten other neighbors who share your passion to join you. Assign a few blocks to each of you and start picking up litter on a regular basis. You'll be pleased with the results if you stay with it. Others will follow your lead. Contact us for help. info@citizensagainstlitter.org or boris.weinstein@verizon.net.

Q: Can the City help?
A: Public Works has been extremely helpful when neighborhoods demonstrate that they are taking responsibility to keep their streets, alleys, and hillsides cleaner. Public Works is attacking the city's blighted areas with special crews and heavy equipment. Our job as concerned residents is to bring to their attention illegal dumpsites, overrun vacant homes and lots. Public Works is helpful when residents get after Everyday Litter and need some assistance on special cleanup sweeps.

Recent Litter-ature

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


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