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Citizens Against Litter

February 2008 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; City's litter-fighting reputation going global; Meet & Greet Mixer; State of the City Report; "Earth Against Litter" April 18-20; Take the Pledge; Save our trees; Citizens Against Litter award; Stop sign litterers ; "I Litter" award; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Pick It Up

Our mission

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

City's litter-fighting reputation going global

The U.S. State Department is making arrangements for a Kosovo public TV station to visit Pittsburgh this spring to film a documentary about what our city is doing about litter. Kosovo has a severe litter and pollution problem.

"Pittsburgh's efforts to combat litter with grassroots neighborhood initiatives have come to the attention of Washington," said Boris Weinstein, founder of Citizens Against Litter.

The trip will coincide with the April 18-20 Redd Up being organized and coordinated by Citizens Against Litter. More than 150-175 city neighborhoods and boros and townships in Allegheny and Beaver counties will participate.

Jay Richter of the Office of Broadcast Support contacted Weinstein last September of a possible October visit.

Redd Ups in some neighborhoods will be a highlight of the documentary.

The cities that will be visited are:

Meet & Greet Mixer

Pittsburgh will reach its goal to be one of the cleanest cities in America when residents in all 89 city neighborhoods take responsibility for their own housekeeping as a compliment to what city departments do. This is what is happening as evidenced by the event sponsored by the Clean Pittsburgh Commission and Mayor Ravenstahl.

Litter leaders -- called Clean Pittsburgh Stewards -- attended a Meet & Greet Mixer January 17 at the Schenley Park Ice Skating Rink Clubhouse. Approximately 125 attended, representing more than 60 neighborhoods. It was a successful event. Mayor Ravenstahl spoke as did representatives of Public Works, Public Safety, and the Mayor's Office, talking about Redd Ups, graffiti, abandoned cars, vacant dwellings, vacant lots, recycling, and the city's 311 response line.

The efforts of the stewards -- Pittsburgh's Finest and Cleanest -- were praised by the Mayor and Public Works Director Guy Costa. As one steward, Craig Garay of Sheridan, said afterwards, "We're a new group and we're going to get better."

State of the City Report

The Clean Pittsburgh Commission presented the 2007 State of the City Report to the Mayor, City Council, Department Heads and Clean Pittsburgh Stewards. The report said the city has made real progress under two mayors with everyday litter, blight area, and illegal dumping cleanups. Other areas where improvements have been made are increasing recycling tonnage, clearing vacant dwellings, dealing with vacant and neglected lots, graffiti monitoring, removal and enforcement and removing abandoned cars.

"Earth Against Litter" April 18-20

Pittsburgh's citywide Redd Up is going countywide. The successful October Redd Up is growing quickly beyond the 82 neighborhoods that were pulled together by Citizens Against Litter. It's becoming a regional event. Last October, there were 7 cleanups in Allegheny County and 10 in Beaver County. So far, more than 140 neighborhoods and municipalities say they will join the spring Redd Up on the April 18-20 weekend preceding Earth Day (April 22). Participating is:

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 Liberty, Elliott, Fairywood, Friendship, Garfield, Greenfield, Hazelwood, Highland Park, Larimer, Lincoln, Lawrenceville, Lower Hill, Morningside, Mount Washington, Mount Oliver (city), Mexican War Streets, Northview Heights, Oakland, Overbrook (Fairhaven Greenery), Perry Hilltop, Polish Hill, Ridgemont, Regent Square, Schenley Heights, Sheridan, Shadyside, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, Spring Garden, St. Clair, 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.

Allegheny County: Aleppo, Aspinwall, Bell Acres, Bethel Park, Brackenridge, Bradford Woods, Collier, Coraopolis, Crafton, Cranberry, Dormont, Edgeworth, Emsworth, Etna, Findlay, Forest Hills, Fox Chapel, Frazer, Franklin Park, Gibsonia, Hampton, Harrison, Heidelberg, Indiana, Marshall, McCandless, Millvale, Mount Oliver, Monroeville, Moon, North Fayette, North Versailles, Oakmont, O'Hara, Ohio, Pine, Pitcairn, Reserve, Richland, Ross, Scott, Shaler, Sharpsburg, South Fayette, Tarentum, Turtle Creek, Verona, West Deer, West View, Whitehall and Wilkinsburg. CONSIDERING: Baldwin Twp., Brentwood, Carnegie, Cheswick, Churchill, East Pittsburgh, Fawn, Harmar, Ingram, Jefferson Hills, McKees Rocks, North Braddock, Oakdale, Plum, Penn Hills, Rankin, Robinson, Rosslyn Farms, Sewickley, South Park, Springdale and Wilmerding

Beaver County: Ambridge, Beaver, Brighton, Bridgewater, Center, Chippewa, Freedom, Harmony, Midland, Monaca, New Brighton, Rochester and Vanport.

Take the Pledge

The Pennsylvania Resources Council is kicking off its annual "Take the Pledge Not to Litter" contest. The contest runs from now through Earth Day (April 22nd).

Additional information about the contest, including sign-up locations and prizes can be found on the PRC website.

Save our trees

Concerned residents in the city's 14th Ward (Squirrel Hill) turned out en masse January 10, at a meeting about the status of their street trees. Representatives of Public Works, Shade Tree Commission, Friends of Pittsburgh's Urban Forest. and Councilmen Shields and Peduto participated in a lively discussion for several hours. "Tonight's meeting was bumpy at times," is the way one resident described the meeting. Here is the list of major accomplishments residents wanted and got:

  1. A commitment from Public Works to halt tree removals once the last seven 'hazardous' trees are removed and until some issues can be resolved.
  2. Assurance from two City Council members to involve residents in developing new policies that might include an appeals process for condemned trees, staggered removals/plantings where a number of tree are to come down, and better notification to property owners and surrounding neighbors that trees are slated for removal.
  3. The city forester also talked to several neighbors after the meeting and said he would consider moving up the priority list for re-planting blocks or areas that have or could undergo the devastating removal of numerous trees in a row such as Douglas Street. He also thought it might be possible to plant more new trees on such a block than were there originally to give some density to the smaller new trees as they could not take the place of the canopy of mature shade trees.

Citizens Against Litter award

Citizens Against Litter received an Award of Merit at the PRSA Pittsburgh Awards dinner January 24, for an opinion editorial written by Boris Weinstein that appeared in the Post-Gazette last spring. Titled "Retiring to the street: Who needs golf when you can pick up litter," here's an excerpt:

"Golfers feel great when they drive the ball straight and long, when they reach the green in regulation, when they one-putt, when they approach par. As a litter-picker, I smile ear to ear when a cluttered street is swept litter-free, when street corners are lined with garbage bags, when volunteers high-five because their neighborhood looks great after a weekend Redd Up."

Stop sign litterers

Those bright, ugly yellow signs tacked onto Shadyside telephone polls that you woke up to earlier this month are either gone or on their way out. It is illegal to post signs on poles in the city. The sign sponsors were given 72 hours to clean up their act. Councilman Peduto and Public Works stepped in.

"I Litter" award

No surprise here. takes the cake.


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? 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.

Pick It Up

When I walk my dog
I see all kinds of paper,
mostly white, on the lawns,
on the driveway and in
the street. I lean down
and pick up the pieces. Not
much to do, but
I think it helps.
How 'bout it?

Leona P. Paradise
Volunteer, Citizens Against Litter

Recent Litter-ature

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

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