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Citizens Against Litter

July 2008 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; October Redd Up; Pitt to make a difference; We want to hear from stewards; Our first bill; Unyuck the Yough; Memorial cleanup #1; Memorial cleanup #2; Parade cleanup; Crafton/Westwood cleanup; South Park cleanup; When under graffiti attack; Eyesores; Eye appeals; Seeing is believing; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Youth program awards; We want volunteers; From the Green Book

Our mission

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

October Redd Up

Pittsburgh Neighborhood Clean Pittsburgh Stewards and community litter-fighters everywhere are asked to sign up now for the October Redd Up, to be held on the weekend of the 10-12. Please e-mail info@citizensagainstlitter.org or contact boris.weinstein@verizon.net Or call 412-688-9120. We want to get a head of steam started early.

Pitt to make a difference

Pitt students -- possibly as many as 2,000 -- will partner with Citizens Against Litter for this fall's Redd Up in October. Pitt is introducing "Pitt Make A Difference Day" Saturday, October 18, as a major community service event.

The partnership with Citizens Against Litter was agreed upon last week at a meeting with LaTrenda Leonard, Pitt site coordinator. Clean Pittsburgh Stewards will be contacted and offered the services of dozens of volunteers for their neighborhood cleanups.

"This is a huge step forward to bring Pitt students as volunteers into neighborhoods from Oakland. Many of them will be in parts of the city for the first time," said Boris Weinstein. "This is another reason we feel confident Pittsburgh is becoming one of the cleanest cities in America."

We want to hear from stewards

Attention stewards: You can share in the availability of hundreds of Pitt Make A Difference Day volunteers to join your neighbors for your October Redd Ups. Contact info@citizensagainstlitter.org or boris.weinstein@verizon.net or call 412-688-9120.

Our first bill

From: Citizens Against Litter
To: Walnut St. Merchants
Amount: $50.00

For redding up the trash around your dumpsters in Dumpster Alley 6/8/08. Make payment to charity of your choice. Or hire a trash man and pay him.

Unyuck the Yough

Introducing the River Rats. This is an independent art group of four women: Stacey Magda. Stacey Rutledge, Amy Tronolone and Miriam Krimstock. Three are from Pittsburgh's neighborhoods and one from Swissvale. These women love the outdoors and adventure. For more than a year they have been spending time in the Yough River area around Dawson. They do more than one thing at a time. They kayak, retrieve litter from the Yough and recycle some of the stuff into neat art items, like window decorations and key chains. In fact, only high water on June 8 prevented them and about 25 other friends from branching out and having their first Redd Up. It will be rescheduled. The River Rats think they'll pick up about a ton of litter.

The River Rats have teamed up with Citizens Against Litter and are identifying some places around Pittsburgh to "unyuck." I promise you the places they pick to "unyuck" may be adventures themselves.

Memorial cleanup #1

On June 12 last year, five children were killed in a house fire in the Larimer neighborhood. Neighbors -- actually the Redd Up Team in the new Larimer Green Acres -- spent a good part of Saturday, June 7 redding up overgrown weeds and litter at 6400 Winslow Street and Winfield in a memorial cleanup. Then on Thursday, June 12, the East Liberty Concerned Citizens Corporation (ELCCC) had services. There were plantings by children of the neighborhood and candlelight services, said Ora Lee Carroll.

Memorial cleanup #2

On June 6, 2007, Paul (PJ) Shepherd, Jr. was fatally injured in an accident on Route 28. Family and friends have adopted the section of roadway where the accident occurred.

On Saturday June 7, 2008, one year and one day since the tragedy, a litter cleanup crew worked on Route 28 between the 31st Street Bridge and the Heinz Plant in his memory. They placed flowers and said a prayer at the accident site. Contact 412-519-6614 (Julie Coban) or 412-480-4479 (Michelle Siemen) for information about future cleanups.

Parade cleanup

"We had a great turnout for our one hour litter blitz to clean up Brookline Boulevard for the Memorial Day Parade. It was a beautiful day and the Boulevard looked so clean afterwards! Special thanks to the following hardworking litter pickers: Ken Stiger, Eileen Papale, Stephanie Harvill, Chris Harvill, Samantha Harvill, Allison Harvill, Jacqui Grey and Mercy Faust.

"We had the Boulevard sparking clean from Whithead Street to the CVS. We collected two large 45 gallon bags of litter and one 33 gallon bag of recyclables. South Pittsburgh Development Corporation treated volunteers to pizza and soda at Antonio's Pizza afterward. It was fun to get everyone together and enjoy lunch after the hard work."

Keith Knecht, South Pittsburgh Development Corporation

Crafton/Westwood cleanup

Theresa Smith circulated a community notice that the Crafton Heights/Westwood Community Council needed a ton of help for a cleanup on June 7 to prepare Crafton Boulevard and Noblestown Road for the new green way walking trail project.

Theresa reported, "We had a mix-up involving the time. Two groups showed up at two different times (a total of 12 people). There was not enough time to work together, so we went back with about 25 Langley High School students and cleared as much as we could.

"Langley's Horticulture Class has agreed to help maintain the site once all of the renovations are complete. I am confident this is going to serve the community as a great walking trail once complete and then...on to our next project!"

South Park Cleanup

"Who's trashing South Park?" asks Dave Buchewicz.

"Township Supervisor Dave Buchewicz and Cleanup Coordinator Sandy Schwab want to thank all that helped with our cleanup on April 20. Because of the efforts of volunteers the event was a huge success. Can you believe? We collected over 8 tons of plastic bottles, fast food bags and wrappers, etc. In addition, there were 71 tires and other metals collected from the roadsides. Just a week earlier, the Montour Council collected 8 tons and 150 tires from Peters Creek.

"We need residents of South Park to help catch those slobs that our trashing South Park. Call the police at 412-350-3150 if you see someone littering or dumping. Get a description and license plate."

When under graffiti attack

Information worth repeating.

Call 3-1-1 or 9-1-1.

Call 9-1-1 if a resident is being "tagged" by a graffiti vandal at that moment.

9-1-1 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 3-1-1.

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 3-1-1 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 3-1-1.

Graffiti Removal Policy Changes:

Eyesores

Some readers liked the idea of alerting us to eyesores around the city. Brown's Hill in Squirrel Hill, Washington Boulevard in the East End, and Ella Street in Bloomfield. Some action has been taken. Please tell us about more Eyesores with details: info@citizensagainstlitter.org.

Eye appeals

House at 712 Bellefonte Street has a new look. The terraced front has been landscaped and the leaves and litter on the steps and sidewalk are gone. Please remove the trash container from the front to complete the transformation.

Residents of 720 Copeland Street caught the "plant up" fever from their neighbors and spruced up their front. It's a great look.

House at 721 Aiken Avenue looks nice with new plantings in the front.

Trash and litter in the front and rear of the former Orr Flower shop at 731 Aiken Avenue have been removed. That's better.

Seeing is believing

To appreciate the transformation AFTER you had to see the BEFORE. The litter is gone from the area of Baum Boulevard and South Graham, including Dapper Way, to Centre Avenue in Shadyside. It's an area with a lot of businesses and a church. Parking lots and bus stops. Drive thrus. Lots of places that invite classic litter like fast food wrappers, cups, lids, straws, and napkins.

Rudy Molnar's Car Care Center, Blockbuster, Wendy's, a funeral home and other retail are there. True, several Citizens Against Litter volunteers pick up in this area but after speaking to a person at Rudy Molnar's, we believe they are responsible for removing the weeds and accumulated trash on Dapper Way. It also helps that a major contributor to the trash in the alley is out of business. Sidewalks and gutters from South Graham to Giant Eagle on Centre Avenue are less littered as well.

"I Litter" awards

The list for Shadyside grows as the weather heats up. Advertising flyers become litter. These places are responsible and put their business on our streets.

Garbagevilles

Garbagevilles are houses, buildings, streets, alleys and places that look awful because of litter, garbage, upswept leaves, cigarette butts 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.

Youth program awards

The Nestle USA Very Best in Youth Program honors young people ages 13 to 18 who have excelled in school and who are making their community and the world a better place. Maximum Award: $1000. Eligibility: youth ages 13 and 18 years of age who demonstrate good citizenship, a strong academic record, and can show how they have made a special contribution to their school, church or the community. Entrants must have permission from a parent or legal guardian to submit the nomination. Deadline: November 20, 2008.

We want volunteers

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.

From the Green Book

From the New York Times best seller, The Green Book: "Try to buy products with minimal to no packaging. If just one out of ten products you bought had little to no packaging, it would eliminate more than 50 pounds of waster per household per year. This small reduction could also save you at least $30 annually, as $1 of every $11 that you spend at the supermarket pays for the packaging of the products you buy."

Recent Litter-ature

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


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