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Citizens Against Litter

May 2008 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Dates to remember; Numbers to remember; Spring Redd Up over and counting; A picture is worth a thousand words; It doesn't happen without them; Sweeping up awards; Redd Up! Company's coming to Carrick; Brookline pride; Another neighborhood heard from ; And another -- Larimer; Energized Elliott; You gotta have Hope; Passover in Homewood; Teddy's Mitzvah project; Have picker-upper. Will speak; Smile, you're on Kosovo TV; When under a graffiti attack; Jail Trail clean up; Eyesores: Bloomfield and Browns Hill Road; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; We want you; Wollongong bongs in; Pickup sticks; More pickup sticks; Babies Against Litter

Our mission

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

Dates to remember

Circle Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 10-12. These are the dates of the Fall Redd Up Weekend when the Steelers have a bye week. This means the coast is clear for thousands upon thousands of area residents to join their neighbors for Redd Ups on land, streams and rivers. Recruiting communities in Pittsburgh and surrounding counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania is officially underway.

Numbers to remember

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl told 180 community leaders last month that they must take a citywide approach to revitalizing neighborhoods. He threw out these numbers:

Spring Redd Up over and counting

"We're getting a nice response from communities about how they did in the April Redd Up. We are assembling the data and will project a more accurate number of volunteers and the amount of litter collected," said Boris Weinstein and Jake Krohn. "We feel the estimate of 183 participating communities, 10,000 volunteers and 50 tons of litter will be exceeded. Please, keep your surveys coming."

A picture is worth a thousand words

Check out our website for a quick recap of the Spring Clean Up and a lot of great pictures of adults and kids redding up their neighborhoods

Would you like to include pictures of your group? Send them our way. As we receive photos we'll add them to our collection.

It doesn't happen without them

There are many organizations and individuals to thank. Start with Allegheny CleanWays, Pennsylvania Resources Council and the Clean Pittsburgh Commission. Add Comcast Newsmakers, Kiwanis Clubs, Pittsburgh Cares, Pittsburgh Job Corps,Trib Against Litter, Beautify Banksville Road, Friends of PJ Shepherd, Friends of the Riverfront.

Pittsburgh Public Works and other public works crews around the region, Clean Pittsburgh Stewards in the city and all the other community leaders. Pittsburgh Public Schools and public, parochial and private schools in Allegheny and Beaver counties. Can't forget the borough and township mangers and staffs who put us in touch with their residents. Last but not least, the thousands of adults and young people, who get out there, bend, and pick up.

Sweeping up awards

One of the highlights of the Great PA Clean Up After Party was the awards presentations. Allison Park got one for most volunteers -- 102. Greenfield reported its volunteers collected most bags -- 115 bags of litter and recyclables. Allison Park also retrieved the most unusual item of the day -- a filled oil drum. Josh Nard, who lives on the North Side and was part of the Hazelwood group for the Redd Up, won the popular "dirtiest volunteer" award. The Clean Pittsburgh Commission and Waste Management head a list of sponsors for the after-party.

Redd Up! Company's coming to Carrick

How do you bottle this kind of enthusiasm about picking up litter?

"I am thrilled to be a part of cleaning up, and so are many in my community," wrote Dawn Harder of the Carrick Litter Patrol. "This is what we have been waiting for."

Public Works received the following e-mail from Citizens Against Litter. "Get ready. We have a very enthusiastic Clean Pittsburgh Steward and volunteer group in Carrick. On Friday, April 18, teachers and students will be cleaning their campuses at the high school and two elementary schools. On Saturday, April 19, these are the specific targets: the entire length of Brownsville Road in Carrick; lower half of Nobles Lane; and Colerain up and around the park. Also, depending on the volunteer turnout, they want to clean up all the parks."

Brookline pride

What on earth keeps happening? In Brookline, residents and people in key places want this community to shine. Keith Knecht, the Clean Pittsburgh Steward, sent us this recap on clean and green goings-on.

"South Pittsburgh Development Corporation's March "Spring Fling" event went very well! We had a great day for it and lots of people stopped by for free flower seeds, coffee, "Redd Up" cookies, information about SPDC's projects and some new members signed up! A special thank you to our treasurer, Mary Anne Miller, for organizing the event and taking care of the hospitality details! Also, thanks to Sarah Alessio and her volunteers (Erik and Erika) at Pennsylvania Resource Council for coming up and engaging the public with the litter prevention pledge and Litterbug costume. Mary Wilson of Allegheny CleanWays made sure we got the Litter IQ Game and people were quite curious about it. Senator Wayne Fontana stopped by and Pat Reilly from Representative Chelsa Wagner's office also made an appearance. Thanks guys for supporting us!

"Kribel's Bakery made some great "Redd Up" cookies for us as well as other delicious cookies. Thank you Maxine! Brookline Chamber of Commerce member Lee Herbermann loaned us his pavilion tent which worked great! Thanks Lee! Jim Washabaugh made a display visual for the Jacob/Whithed street green space project. Thanks Jim! District Magistrate Charlie McLaughlin let us use his office. Thanks Charlie! Finally, thank you to all the SPDC members and volunteers whose dedication and countless hours of volunteer work make our organization and service to our community possible." Brookline was at it again for the April 19 Redd Up.

Another neighborhood heard from

Greenfield's anti-litter program is a winner because Patrick Hassett, the Clean Pittsburgh Steward, rallies resident support.

"Last call for re-enlisting in the 2008-Adopt-a-Block if you haven't already," read his latest missive on April 7. "To date we have 21 sign ups. New members also are welcomed. For those of you who cannot -- rest assured your past services are greatly appreciated. Feel free to pick up that solitary piece of litter you come across as you stroll through the neighborhood. Every little bit will help. Thanks again."

And another -- Larimer

Ora Lee Carroll, our Clean Pittsburgh Steward in Larimer, wrote last month, "Larimer Green Acres will take to the streets on Redd Up Weekend and is counting on residents to clean up 20 blocks of litter. Allegheny CleanWays provided bags and gloves. About 40 kids and ten adults collected more than 50 bags of litter and declared their first Redd Up a success. Ora Lee wants to thank the City, the Mayor's Office, Citizens Against Litter, Housing Authority residents and the Larimer Kids."

Energized Elliott

"We are so excited about our clean-up results!!!!! Elliott has NEVER looked so good. It's only going to get better," wrote Kelly Frey Luhn. "Our volunteers filled 120 trash bags. Other stuff included 15 tires, broken aquariums and broken basketball hoops. Thank you for being an inspiration."

You gotta have Hope

An example of what we mean by Collecting litter and Connecting neighborhoods. Hope Feldman, Clean Pittsburgh Steward in South Point Breeze, checked in with this report. "The Duquesne University professor with whom I work wanted to volunteer his students to help with the Point Breeze Redd Up, but the date was too late. So we decided to find other areas to clean up. We chose Sacramento-Hammond Streets in the West End neighborhood of Esplen. We are doing the clean up Sunday April 6. We're expecting between 100-200 students." Allegheny CleanWays provided supplies.

Passover in Homewood

Homewood, Squirrel Hill, Point Breezes and Park Place put a hold on their Redd Up last month and had a Community Passover Seder in a dramatic show of neighborhood respect and friendship. Unable to Redd Up because of the Jewish holiday, those plans were pushed back to May 2, 3, 4. Instead, 130 adults and children, including congregants from the Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill and Bethesda Presbyterian Church in Homewood, attended a Passover Seder in Homewood, orchestrated by the Redd Up Coalition. It's been done in other cities but the April 16 Seder is believed to be the first in Pittsburgh. The Seder will be repeated next year.

Both communities agreed, "The litter will be there waiting for us. Our traditions, beliefs and histories come first." Hope Feldman of South Point Breeze proposed the idea.

The Seder -- a traditional Jewish service that is conducted around a dinner table -- explored the journey from slavery to freedom that African-American and Jews have each taken. Rabbi Stephen Listfield and Rev. Eugene Blackwell conducted the unique service.

Teddy's Mitzvah project

A growing number of Jewish boys and girls choose to perform worthy deeds as part of their Bar and Bas Mitzvahs when they approach their 13th birthday. Teddy Ross of Squirrel Hill chose an Earth Day clean up project. But not just any clean up. He chose to clean up the grounds of 10 synagogues and Jewish buildings in his Squirrel Hill neighborhood. Teddy -- with the help of family and friends -- gathered 23 kids and 28 adults on Sunday, April 13. The project was a success and, in Teddy's words, "more fun than I thought it would be."

Teddy chose this project to fulfill the teachings of his Torah portion, Behar, which teaches that we must care for the Earth while it is in our keeping and preserve it for future generations. Also assisting Teddy was the Squirrel Hill Litter Patrol.

Have picker-upper. Will speak

Boris Weinstein will speak at two community meetings in May. He'll be at the Arlington council meeting at the Henry Kaufmann Neighborhood House on Salisbury Street, Monday, May 5 at 7 p.m and at the Penn Hills general meeting at the Zion Lutheran Church on Frankstown Avenue, Wednesday, May 21 at 7 p.m.

Smile, you're own Kosovo TV

A film crew from the new independent nation of Kosovo was in Pittsburgh April 17-22, to make a two-hour documentary featuring Pittsburghers redding up their neighborhoods. The trip here was sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Four neighborhood cleanup efforts were highlighted. They were Greenfield, Central North Side, and Uptown-Hill District. Cameras rolled as Explorer Club members redded up the Mount Washington hillside. Filming also took place at CMU, Liberty School, Ohiopyle and a tireless event on the riverfront. The visitors got carried away and joined volunteers picking up litter. It is contagious, you know. Three other U.S. cities will be visited. Kosovo has severe litter and pollution problems.

When under a graffiti attack

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:

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 of the Riverfront website for details.

Eyesores: Bloomfield and Browns Hill Road

"I just read the latest Newslitter and love the new eyesores section," writes a reader. "I have the perfect candidate: Ella Street in Bloomfield between Liberty and Friendship Ave. This two block stretch is a disgrace. The curbs are always lined with mounds of trash and the bus stop at the corner of Liberty is covered with graffiti and litter. There are also a number of newspaper boxes near the bus stop that are in various states of disrepair -- covered with graffiti or filled with litter."

ANSWER: Once upon a time, Bloomfield was the model place for "Redd Up". It's what it was when your Mom and Dad lived there. Impeccably clean. It would take ONLY six passionate Bloomfield residents -- that's all -- cleaning Liberty Avenue and a half dozen intersecting streets regularly-to have this section clean as a whistle in a few days. But the key is REGULARITY. You can't clean it once and expect litter not to reappear.

Several groups are addressing the Brown's Hill (the road to and from the Homestead Grays Bridge to The Waterfront) eyesore problem. This stretch was targeted for a cleanup last month. It's already looking much, much cleaner because of Allegheny County Public Works, Pittsburgh Job Corps and Squirrel Hill Litter Patrol.

Please give us details about other Eyesores. E-mail us at

"I Litter" awards

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


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 or call 412-688-9120.

Wollongong bongs in

"My name is Greg Vickery and I live in Wollongong New South Wales, Australia. I would like to set up a similar scheme as you have in Shadyside. I have read with great interest your stories on the Internet and would like any information or pointers you can help me with if that's all right with you." Of course, we always dreamed of a Citizens Against Litter chapter in Wollongong.

Pickup sticks

A report from Banksville. "Litter pickup sticks are available at Costco and Harbor Freight (Robinson) for less than $7. I purchased a twin pack at Costco for $12. They are most likely available at Sam's Club and Wall Mart. Great investment because the efforts will NOT end on April 19. We will be joining forces with Boris and the Citizens Against Litter."

More pickup sticks

The makers of the EZ Reacher are selling their products directly. Prices for the 32" Heavy Duty Aluminum EZ Reacher are:

Larger reachers are also available. Contact Phone 801-859-6266.

Babies Against Litter

Move over Citizens Against Litter and Kids Against Litter. Make room for the new Babies Against Litter. First member is Augustus Jacob Krohn, son of Arielle and Jake Krohn. Born April 3. Gus attended his first Redd Up last month wearing a Babies Against Litter T-shirt.

Gus wants company. Sign 'em up. E-mail

Recent Litter-ature

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

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