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Citizens Against Litter

April 2008 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Comcast Newsmakers spreads word; WTAE-TV endorsement; 180 Redd Ups and counting; Register your event now; Volunteer After Party; Stash the Trash in schools; Smile, you're on Kosovo TV; Another county heard from; Another country heard from; When under a graffiti attack; South Fayette does it right; Greenfield's model program; Jail Trail cleanup; Seattle Kids Against Litter; Larimer's Green Acres; Larimer Kids Against Litter; Eyesores; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; We want you; Streets lined with litter

Our mission

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

Comcast Newsmakers spreads word

More than 675,000 household in the Pittsburgh region will be reminded about the April 18-20 weekend Redd Up 60 times over the next four three weeks. A five- minute interview with Citizens Against Litter's Boris Weinstein by Tonia Caruso of Comcast Newsmakers will be seen on CNN Headline News. Citizens Against Litter is calling for more volunteers. In many instances, volunteers will be matched with their neighborhood cleanup leaders.

WTAE-TV endorsement

Around Easter, WTAE-TV General Manager Rick Henry asked residents of the Pittsburgh region in a station editorial to get involved in the April 18-20 Redd Up by joining the ranks of thousands who are expected to pick up litter on that weekend.

180 Redd Ups and counting

This year's Earth Against Litter April 18-20 Redd Up in Pittsburgh and the region has exceeded the 150 goal and could reach 200. So far 85 Pittsburgh neighborhoods, 78 boroughs and townships in Allegheny County and 20 in Beaver County say they will participate.

"This represents five months of contact work-calls, conversations and e-mails," said Weinstein, "It's worth the effort. Response has been terrific. We've made a lot of new friends for Citizens Against Litter which is what this volunteer group is all about -- Collecting litter and Connecting neighborhoods."

"Our work has put us in touch with local governments, civic councils, individual schools from primary to high school, conservation and environment clubs, Clean Pittsburgh Stewards and ordinary citizens," continued Weinstein.

"We could not have progressed this far without the cooperation of government officials and school boards that provide lists and help us network. PennDOT, Allegheny CleanWays, and Pennsylvania Resources Council provide training and supplies. Public works departments in Pittsburgh, boroughs and townships will haul away an estimated 50 tons of litter and trash."

More than 10,000 adults and young people are expected to take to the streets with gloves, litter bags, nifty nabbers, brooms, weed whackers, lawn mowers, racks, and hedge cutters. The list of participating communities follows.

City:

Allegheny West, Allentown, Banksville, Banksville Road Corridor, Bedford Dwelling, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Belmar Gardens, Bloomfield, Bluff, Bon Air, Brighton Heights, Brightwood, Brookline, Carrick, California-Kirkbride, Central North Side, Chartiers (City), Crafton Heights, Crawford Square, Downtown Pittsburgh, Duquesne Heights, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Hills, East Liberty, Elliott, Fairywood, Friendship, Garfield, Greenfield, Hazelwood, Highland Park, Larimer, Lincoln, Lawrenceville, Lower Hill, Manchester, Morningside, Mount Washington, Mount Oliver (city), Mexican War Streets, Northview Heights, Oakland, Observatory Hill, Overbrook (Fairhaven Greenery), Perry Hilltop, Polish Hill, Ridgemont, Regent Square, Schenley Heights, Sheridan, Shadyside, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, Spring Garden, Spring Hill, St. Clair, Stanton Heights, Strip District, Swisshelm Park, Troy Hill, Uptown, West End, Westwood and Windgap.

The Redd Up Coalition neighborhoods of Homewood, Squirrel Hill North Point Breeze, South Point Breeze and Park Place have scheduled their Redd Up for May 2-4 because of a conflict with the Jewish Passover in April. Cleanups for some other communities clean up on different dates. Groups such as Nine Mile Watershed, Friends of the Riverfront, Beautify Banksville Road also have cleanups planned.

Allegheny County:

Aleppo, Aspinwall, Avalon, Bell Acres, Bellevue, Bethel Park, Brackenridge, Bradford Woods, Carnegie, Castle Shannon, Chalfant, Collier, Coraopolis, Crafton, Cranberry, Crescent, Dormont, Dravosburg, East Deer, Edgewood, Edgeworth,Elizabeth, Emsworth, Etna, Findlay, Forest Hills, Fox Chapel, Frazer, Franklin Park, Glassport, Gibsonia, Hampton, Harrison, Heidelberg, Homestead, Indiana, Leetsdale, Lincoln Marshall, McCandless, Millvale, Mount Lebanon, Mount Oliver, Monroeville, Moon, North Fayette, North Versailles, Oakmont, O'Hara, Ohio, Penn Hills, Pine, Pitcairn, Rankin, Reserve, Richland, Ross, Scott, Shaler, Sharpsburg, South Fayette, South Park, Stowe, Swissvale,Tarentum, Turtle Creek, Upper St. Clair, Verona, West Deer, West Homestead, West View, Whitehall, White Oak, Wilkins, and Wilkinsburg.

Considering: Baldwin Twp., Brentwood, Cheswick, Churchill, East McKeesport, East Pittsburgh, Fawn, Harmar, Ingram, Jefferson Hills, Leets, Neville, McKees Rocks, North Braddock, Oakdale, Osborne, Pleasant Hills, Plum, Robinson, Rosslyn Farms, Sewickley, Springdale, Thornburg, Wall, and Wilmerding.

Beaver County:

Ambridge, Beaver, Brighton, Bridgewater, Center, Chippewa, Freedom, Harmony, Hopewell, Independence, Industry, Midland, Monaca, New Brighton, Ohioville, Raccoon, Rochester, South Heights, and Vanport.

Register your event now

It's time to register events that you may be planning as a part of the Spring Clean Up, which is taking place April 18-20 (and before and after).

Based on emails we have already received, as well as information posted to the Great PA Cleanup site, we are assembling the list on our site.

If your event is not listed, or if you have corrections, please let us know.

Here's what we are looking for:

We also suggest that you submit your information to the Great PA Cleanup site.

Registering your event there makes it eligible for resources and supplies that our zero-cash flow operation can't provide.

Volunteer After Party

It's become an Earth Day tradition. As in previous years the Great PA Cleanup Volunteer Recognition Party will be held Saturday, April 19, at the Vietnam Veterans Pavilion in Schenley Park from noon to 3 p.m.

The event is a project of the Clean Pittsburgh Commission. Sponsoring organizations include Waste Management, Giant Eagle, Eat 'n Park, Coors, and the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP).

In appreciation for their hard work and cleanup efforts volunteers will be treated to a free lunch, live entertainment, games and prizes. Awards and raffle begin at 1:30.

Neighborhood groups can RSVP and get more information by contacting Laura Ludwig at 412-621-7863, ext. 12, or lludwig@opdc.org.

Stash the Trash at schools

Another Clean Pittsburgh Commission project is Stash the Trash. Pittsburgh Public Schools is supporting two Stash the Trash events this year, one on Friday, April 18 and the other in the fall. PPS sent letters to principals in 66 schools. Citizens Against Litter made reminder calls to all schools. Last year more than 35 schools and 3,000 students took part. We're asking Clean Pittsburgh Stewards to also contact schools in their neighborhoods and urge them to return sign up forms to PA Resources Council by April 4 for their supplies. Contact Sarah Alessio at PRC, 412-488-7490, ext. 236.

Smile, you're own Kosovo TV

A film crew from the new independent nation of Kosovo will be in Pittsburgh to make a two-hour documentary, featuring Pittsburghers redding up their neighborhoods. The trip here is sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Four neighborhood cleanup efforts will be highlighted. They are Greenfield, Central North Side, and Uptown-Hill District. Explorers Club members will redd up the Mount Washington hillside. Other clean up and beautification activities will also be spotlighted. The visit is planned during the April 18-20 Redd Up in our area. Three other U.S. cities will be visited. Kosovo has severe litter and pollution problems.

Another county heard from

Byron Smialek, columnist for the Washington Observe-Reporter, believes it's time for a grassroots litter removal program in his city and Washington County. Byron promises to support efforts by Citizens Against Litter this fall to organize volunteer group and get local government support.

Another country heard from

Greetings from Scotland!

"I just found your Citizens Against Litter website and am so impressed! We are a year-old organization here battling litter in our small town (Scotland has a big litter problem). I am an American expat living here now and started our neighborhood doing this.

"You have such incredible ideas! I am going to blatantly steal some of them for our community! You are inspiring me. Even though we are a small rural community and you are a big city, a lot of your ideas will work here too! I love Boris!

"What you are doing is so exciting! I love the paper (Newslitter) that Boris wrote. Maybe someday if he's in Scotland he can talk to our neighborhood group and help inspire us. I will copy his paper and show it to others.

"We are actually about to expand beyond our neighborhood into a town-wide association that is only for taking care of litter, dog fouling, fly-tipping, etc. We live on a beautiful river that is full of junk. You are awesome! Cheers!"

Michelle McCallum
Dunipace, Scotland

When under a graffiti attack

Call 311 or 911.

Call 911 if a resident is being "tagged" by a graffiti vandal at that moment.

911 is also to be called by the resident if that person's own immediate personal property has been vandalized with graffiti.

A resident, who notices graffiti on another's property, commercial property, or public property, should call 311.

Department of Public Works is working with the Graffiti Task Force (GTF) to streamline the reporting and removal process.

DPW has been trained by GTF in taking accurate pictures and measurements of the tagging. DPW will respond to 311 complaints immediately. Take pictures and measurements.

DPW will send these to GTF. The report will get a CCR number and be investigated.

DPW will alert 311 when the graffiti has been removed.

For those calls that reach GTF first, GTF will notify DPW of the crime. DPW will respond. Take pictures/measurements and remove graffiti. This does not involve 311.

Graffiti Removal Policy Changes

DPW will remove graffiti they can reach. The 10 ft. barrier policy has been removed.

DPW will continue to forward permission slips collected during the removal to BBI.

DPW will allocate more staff in summer months when vandalism reaches its peak.

Graffiti Busters will work evenings and weekends to remove graffiti in a timely manner.

South Fayette does it right

David Gardiner, Director of Engineering and Planning for South Fayette Township, let us pick his brain. The Newslitter was anxious to know how South Fayette attracts 300 volunteers for its annual Spring Redd Up.

Most importantly, there is plenty of community pride in South Fayette. Dave told us the township board and conservation groups are very supportive of the effort and provide money, time and leadership. Support comes from the top. The cleanup is supported with flyers, publicity, paid advertising and signs. Dave meets with community groups, girl scouts and boy scouts. In two previous years, fast food chains and theaters were approached and distributed coupons for kids who participated.

This year, the incentive may be T-shirts should businesses fund them. The township encourages businesses to get involved with redding up their own property while the township targets main roads, rural roads, out of the way popular gathering places and bike and walking trails. Supporting the township effort is public works volunteers who travel around the township picking up filled litter bags and trash.

Greenfield's model program

Connect Greenfield and the Greenfield Organization are looking for volunteers for Greenfield's 2008 Adopt-a-Block litter pick up program.

Under the Adopt-a-Block program, volunteers adopt a Greenfield street block, steps, or public space and agree to pick up litter and other debris as needed throughout the course of the year. The amount of trash collected is recorded and published every month.

The program is designed to tap community interest in the stewardship of Greenfield's streets, steps and public spaces by providing an opportunity for residents and businesses to assist in maintaining and enhancing the look and utility of the neighborhood's local streets, public stairways and open spaces.

Last year Greenfield had 40 volunteers in the program and collected over 500 bags of trash and recyclables from Greenfield's streets, steps and parks.

Existing volunteer are asked to re-enlist. New volunteers are invited to contact Patrick Hassett at hassettpgh@aol.com. Help make Greenfield a cleaner place to live and do business.

(Note: Other neighborhoods please consider using the Greenfield Plan. It works.)

Jail Trail cleanup

Citizens Against Litter will partner with Friends of the Riverfront for its cleanup of the Jail Trail (Eliza Furnace Trail) Friday, May 2 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers are wanted. Light refreshments, work gloves, safety glasses, tools and materials will be provided. Visit the Friends fo the Riverfront site for details.

Seattle Kids Against Litter

Nine-year old Cole Weinstein thinks it's awesome to collect litter. He and his grandfather are starting a Kids Against Litter group in Cole's Seattle school. The Kentucky Avenue School in Shadyside was the first. In nice weather, Kentucky kids pick up litter on Friday walks to Mellon Park.

Larimer's Green Acres

The Larimer neighborhood has makeover plans and the community is excited. Major investments in and around Larimer are fueled by Walnut Capital's Bakery Square development. Ora Lee Carroll, a resident, is leading the charge. She has reached out to the city, consultants, politicians and friends she has acquired over years of dedication to Larimer. Larimer is greening up and soon will be Redding Up with an aggressive volunteer block-by-block anti-litter program. The neighborhood is branding itself as "Larimer Green Acres" -- the place you want to be. That's earthier and softer than redevelopment and renewal, don't you agree?

Larimer Kids Against Litter

Debra Ashby is moving with the new Larimer energy. Her Weed and Seed kids are now Kids Against Litter and will be very active in Larimer's Green Acres program.

Eyesores

We're starting a new segment...as long as we get a feed of information. We'll call it "Eyesores". Here are two we were told about.

Browns Hill -- the road to and from the Homestead Grays Bridge to The Waterfront. It's filthy with litter. The road is in "No Man's Land" beyond Squirrel Hill and Greenfield. That's a place that people in cars ditch stuff.

Crane Avenue (from Beechview Avenue to Route 51). The complaint sounds like the litter there is from car throwers more than walker droppers. (Public Works responded within days to improve the conditions.)

Please give us details about Eyesores you see. E-mail us at info@citizensagainstlitter.org.

"I Litter" awards

The list for Shadyside is again small. It may change with warmer weather. Advertising flyers become litter. These businesses put their business out on our streets..

Garbagevilles

Garbagevilles are houses, buildings, streets, alleys and places that look awful because of litter, garbage, upswept leaves and other stuff. Here are some.

Important phone numbers

Need to contact the city about something that has been bothering you, like potholes and graffiti? Call the 311 Response line (alternate number is 412-255-2621). Your request will be logged and sent to the proper department. Want to contact someone directly? The following list may help.

We want you

Volunteers are wanted. The work is light. Hours are your own. No meetings. No dues. No money. Payoff: clean streets and community pride. Please contact boris.weinstein@verizon.net or call 412-688-9120.

Streets lined with litter

Someone calling himself an environmentalist checked in. He feels strongly about removing litter from streets and trails like the Jail Trail. He prefers letting sleeping litter lay rather than putting it in garbage cans. Ideally, he prefers litter to be buried on your property or where you find it.

Shovels anyone? We can bury litter on the spot or pick it up carefully and take it to our yards (front or back) or drive it to municipal dumps. Better we pick it up. It's easier.

Recent Litter-ature

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


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