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Citizens Against Litter

September 2007 Newslitter

In this Newslitter: Citizens Against Litter mission; CNN Newsmaker; October Redd Up growing; Redd Up Coalition; Trib Against Litter; Mormon Redd Up in Oakland; Seeing is believing; Praise new Pittsburgh Deli owners; Highland Avenue business district glitters; Carron Way & Yardley Way; The law in Shadyside; Clogged sewers update; JCC teens' Redd Up; Northside Clean UP & Tree Care Day; Morningside Clean Up September 8; Northside Leadership Conference; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Ask Mr. Litterman

Citizens Against Litter mission

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

As you read this Newslitter judge for yourself if Citizens Against Litter is being true to its mission. Imagine litter being the trigger connecting more than 80 neighborhoods in the city and region and connecting with college students, schools, teens, religious groups, and churches. There's no end to the potential of our litter initiative.

CNN Newsmaker

Boris Weinstein talks about Citizens Against Litter with Tonia Caruso of CNN Newsmakers. The interview can be seen on CNN Headline News channel in September. Boris talks about the Homewood-Squirrel Hill-Point Breezes Redd Up Coalition and the tremendous response of other neighborhoods to also participate October 12-14.

October Redd Up growing

There are now more than 70 city neighborhoods/groups and 11 other communities and towns outside the city participating. The Clean Pittsburgh Commission endorses it. Mayor Ravenstahl supports it. Public Works is being updated, will help with litter bag pickups and requests hearing from neighborhoods in advance. PA CleanWays of Allegheny County will assist neighborhoods with supplies as much as they can when contacted. E-mail them for information. Participating neighborhoods and groups are: Adopt-A-Block, Allegheny West, Allentown, Banksville, Banksville Road Corridor, Bedford Dwelling, Bloomfield Main Street Association, Bluff, Brookline, Brighton Heights, Brightwood, California-Kirkbride, Central Northside, Chartiers, Crafton Heights, Duquesne University Evergreen, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Liberty, Elliott, Esplen, Fairywood, Fineview, Friendship, Garfield, Greenfield, Hazelwood, Hays, Highland Park, Homewood, Lawrenceville, Lincoln-Lemington, Lincoln Place, Knoxville, Manchester, Morningside, Mexican War Streets, Mount Washington, Mount Oliver, New Homestead, Nine-Mile Run Watershed Association, North Point Breeze, Northview Heights, Oak Hill, Oakland, Oakwood, Observatory Hill, Overbrook (Fairhaven Greenery), Park Place, Perry Hilltop, Polish Hill, Regent Square, Ridgemont, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, South Point Breeze, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, Spring Garden, Spring Hill-City View, Stanton Heights, St. Clair, Strip District, Squirrel Hill, Summer Place, Troy Hill, Uptown, West End, Westwood, and Windgap. Six other neighborhoods are considering.

Participating outside Pittsburgh are Dormont, Scott Township, Verona, Wilkinsburg, Ambridge, Beaver, Freedom, Monaca, New Brighton, Rochester, and Vanport.

Redd Up Coalition

Organizers of the Homewood-Squirrel Hill-Point Breezes Coalition will be pleased with 1,000 volunteers for the October Redd Up, the third since Fall 2005. School children will pick up litter on Friday; Homewood, North Point Breeze, South Point Breeze and Park Place will pick up on Saturday; and Squirrel Hill will pick up on Sunday. The Coalition picnic at Mellon Park begins at 1 p.m. Found Sound will provide music. The Coalition supplies gloves and bags for volunteers in all five neighborhoods. Public Works participates big time. Volunteer registration begins at 8 a.m.

Trib Against Litter

Employees of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review will participate in the Shadyside Redd Up on October 13. Earlier this summer, Trib Against Litter volunteers cleared the hillside of litter and trash at the Aiken Ave bridge.

Mormon Redd Up in Oakland

One hundred young single adults, members of the Mormon Church of Oakland attending their annual Tri-State Conference, will take to the streets in Oakland for three hours Saturday afternoon on September 22. They will do a community service project by picking up everyday litter. Streets to be cleaned were earmarked by Citizens Against Litter, Shadyside, and the Oakland Planning and Development Corp.

Laura Ludwig of OPDC will speak to the group. A video of last Spring's successful Redd Up Coalition will be shown. A 12-step program on how to organize a "Collect Litter and Connect Neighborhoods" initiative, prepared by Citizens Against Litter and the United Jewish Federation Environmental Committee, will be discussed and distributed.

Seeing is believing

We hope the Costa del Sol restaurant on Bellefonte Street in Shadyside does a ton of business. An employee of this recently opened restaurant was sweeping the sidewalk and, get this, bending over litter in the gutter and sweeping it into a dustpan. Just like our grandmothers and mothers used to do. Just like merchants in Europe often do. We have a feeling this is the way Costa del Sol will operate.

This restaurant deserves Shadyside residents' support. Maybe other Shadyside merchants (there are some) will follow this example.

Praise new Pittsburgh Deli owners

Meanwhile on Copeland Street, the new owners of Pittsburgh Deli continue to give us a litter-free "new look." Their sidewalk and gutter are much cleaner. A decreasing number of smokers are using the cigarette butt eater the restaurant provides. Owners put tables outside, further restricting the area as smokers' hangout.

Highland Avenue business district glitters

Glitter has replaced litter on Highland Avenue. Have you been to the stores and restaurants there lately? Have you noticed? This look may be here to stay. The business district has many waste containers on both sides of the street. Sidewalks and gutters are swept and litter free. Hats off to the merchants and Citizens Against Litter volunteers. Shadyside Plaza pays to have the parking lot cleaned and swept daily. Fred Ruddock of Alphabetical Order deserves credit for organizing owners and merchants.

Carron Way & Yardley Way

Way to go here, too. These two streets, near Highland Avenue businesses, are practically spotless. It takes work and pride to keep things this clean. On Carron, there are garages, parking areas, backsides of restaurants and shops, the Bastone Car Care Center, and very nice residences. Yardley Way. has a lot of the same. It's obvious residents and property owners want clean surroundings.

The law in Shadyside

Pitt law school students and young professionals had a Street Sweep in Shadyside Sunday, Aug. 26. More than 30 participated. Citizens Against Litter volunteers joined in. They concentrated on Dumpster Alley behind Walnut Street and Centre Avenue, especially at three much-littered surface parking lots east of Negley Avenue. These students are passionate about litter. They are also passionate about "our city's most valuable resources -- our rivers and our young people." Prior to their clean up, student Peter Kurzweg, expressed his views about our rivers, water pollution and litter. His views appear here, in part. We did not have space for his views about departing young people.

"Pittsburgh's three rivers are under attack by water pollution stemming from an antiquated and dilapidated sewer system that spews untreated, polluted water into our watershed. The environmental problem is essentially this. All cities have two main types of sewer systems. The first is the sanitary sewer system. This system consists of the pipes that carry sanitary sewage from homes to a treatment plant (they carry what you flush in your toilets). At the treatment plant, this sewage is treated to remove solid waste and diseases, and is subsequently released, relatively safely, into our rivers. The second system is our storm water sewer system. This system collects rain water that does not flow into the ground, i.e. water that drains from impervious surfaces -- our streets, sidewalks, offices, parking lots, homes, and even the run-off from yards. This system drains directly to the rivers and is NOT treated prior to emptying in them. The city is working hard to ameliorate the sanitary sewer system by replacing the infrastructure and disconnecting illegal storm water connections.

"The second problem -- storm water pollution -- is for residents to solve. Storm water drains pick up garbage, trash, dog waste, cigarette butts, and fluids from streets, curbs and sidewalks when it rains. Streets, yards, parking lots, and sidewalks are designed to empty into storm drains. This drainage takes with it whatever is in its path. Bottles and butts tossed on streets flow directly into our rivers.

"How do we stop this flow? First, we need to be vigilant about cleaning our streets. Pick up your litter (and other people's too). Second, we need to make people aware that what they put near storm drains ends up in the river. Most people would not throw garbage knowingly into the river. They don't give a thought that our storm sewers don't go to treatment like our toilets do."

Clogged sewers update

Councilman Bill Peduto's office and PWSA are responsible for unclogging two more sewers (Fifth and Aiken and Aiken and Westminster). We reported eight more clogged sewers last month:

JCC teens' Redd Up

Thirty-six teens-members of the Jewish Community Center Travel Camp spent Monday, August 6, in Squirrel Hill picking up litter. Split into five teams, they collected 68 bags of litter. Several speakers told teens that "people who care must pick up for people who don't."

Northside Clean UP & Tree Care Day

More than 100 Starbucks employees and Danielle Crumrine's Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest will be joining Central Northside volunteers for a clean up and tree care day, Saturday, September 8, at 9 a.m., an hour earlier than usual.

Morningside Clean Up September 8

Morningside Area Community Council is organizing a clean up Saturday, September 8, rain or shine, targeting Natoli Field, Heth's Field and Baker Street. Call 412-362-0132 or e-mail Meet at the VFW (Morningside Avenue and Greenwood) at 10 a.m.

Northside Leadership Conference

Last month, Mr. Litterman met neighborhood leaders at a meeting of the Northside Leadership Conference from Central Northside, Perry Hilltop, Observatory Hill, Brightwood Heights, Brightwood, Summer Hill, Spring Garden, Spring Hill, East Allegheny, Manchester, Fineview, and Allegheny West. He was there asking for their support for the Clean Pittsburgh Stewards Program, Citizens Against Litter and the October Redd Up.

"I Litter" awards

Give "I Litter" awards to Camels and Wheel Deliver. Their inserts in City Paper in August littered Walnut Street good last month. Wheel Deliver inserts were all over Shadyside. (We're still cleaning up their litter.) They should consider changing their name to Wheel Litter.


For those who need reminding, Garbagevilles are houses, buildings, streets, alleys and places that look awful because of litter, garbage, unswept leaves, and other stuff. As we walk the neighborhood picking up litter we also finger Garbagevilles. You can't miss them. Here are some this month. Most have been around for what seems forever.

Ask Mr. Litterman

Q: Shadyside streets are pretty clean. Why then should we pick up litter?
A: Good. Let's keep it that way. When you see some litter, please pick up.

Q: What do you say to the person who announces, "I don't litter."
A: Pick up anyway. "People who care must pick up for people who don't."

Recent Litter-ature

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

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