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Citizens Against Litter

November 2008 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Clean Pittsburgh; Cub Scouts real troopers; 90-minute men and women; Greenfield haul; Lower Hill report; Beauty on Banksville; Tot Against Litter; No-man's land targeted; 80 neighborhoods in Redd Up; Pitt made a difference; Last call; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Paintville; Important phone numbers; We want volunteers; Mark your 2009 calendar once; Mark your 2009 calendar twice; Scholastic/Lexus Environmental Challenge; From The Green Book

Our mission

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

Clean Pittsburgh

Carol Knox, of the Banksville Road Corridor, writes:

"Two friends recently visited Pittsburgh from Philadelphia and New Jersey, and while on the Ducky Tour, remarked about how CLEAN Pittsburgh is. Thanks to all of you, our friend Boris, and his efforts. I was so proud of the city with all of its gorgeous flower gardens, landscaping, etc. We're getting there."

On street cleaning

A Spahr Street resident writes:

"Thanks so much for discussing the city street cleaning system in the Newslitter. It is a nightmare over here. Resident cars move out, daily parkers move in, go off to work and leave their cars there. When anyone mentions it's street cleaning day, their response has always been, 'They never show and I need to park and get to work.' One neighbor was told it's cheaper to pay the ticket than park in the city. Get that! Several residents have had not so polite responses directed at them as well. Recently the street cleaning schedule was changed from two times a month to one, which we all prefer. And we are working on getting permit parking here. That will help too."

Cub Scouts real troopers

From John Shields:

"Our Clean Sweep for Swisshelm Park was a great success. Our team was greatly aided by the local Cub Scout Troop 52. These young Cubs were both enthusiastic and energetic and were thrilled to be part of Clean Sweep.

"We took some pictures of the boys, proudly standing in front of their trash pile, and will send you a copy when developed. This day proved that kids do care."

90-minute men and women

C. Kirk French of Chatham Village, Mt. Washington, writes in with this report:

"We finished Woodruff in about 90 minutes on Saturday. We have this down to about six bags. When we started 12 years ago, we had over 30 bags, tires, car parts, etc. Now we clean up Woodruff twice a year with minimal effort. Sometimes we have to do a tidy up event due to someone dropping large items that look pretty bad. In that case, we don't wait until the spring or fall cleanup."

Greenfield haul

Patrick Hassett, Greenfield organizer:

"We had great weather, great coffee and muffins, and a great showing. Sixteen volunteers were up and out Saturday morning. When it was all over, we had picked up eight large blue bags, nine smaller blue bags, and 34 large white trash bags plus a bike, office chair, hatchet, tires, and multiple car parts. That should keep things tidy until our big spring clean up. Thanks to everyone who helped out including Elena's Country Market who was there with the coffee and Allegheny CleanWays whose gloves, pickers, brooms and safety vests continue to come in handy."

Lower Hill report

Marlene Jackson has this report:

"Our volunteers from Duquesne University are just wonderful. With them we were able to redd up our neighborhood from Dinwiddie & Fifth to the Birmingham Bridge and also along Centre Avenue. The Lower Hill District looks forward to the spring Redd Up. How many bags of litter? Easily, 50-60, maybe more."

Beauty on Banksville

Carol Knox writes:

"Thank you Ed Neff, Nancy & Wess Smith, Betsy Hohlfelder, Agnes Lenckos, Sandy Dunlop, Hazel Cope, Barbara Logan, and Justin O'Rourke for showing up in the heavy fog this morning to pick up trash on Banksville. It was a successful morning. Nancy must have collected several thousand cigarette butts for her presentation to our PA Legislature, and Barbara, Justin, Hazel and Agnes managed to plant lots of pink tulips and daffodil bulbs at the butterfly garden.

"A huge group hug to you all for your loyalty, diligence and good humor. What a magnificent day to give up from your own gardening, golfing, biking, hiking or whatever you do on a wonderful fall day like today. To anyone who wasn't able to be there today, hope to see you next spring."

Elliott cleaner and safer

Kelly Frey of Elliott reports:

"We had a great clean-up in Elliott. Sixteen people came out to pick-up including three kids. We started at 2 and didn't stop until 5. Everyone really worked hard. I guesstimate we collected 60 plus bags of trash plus one broken bicycle. Not to mention we raked and swept sidewalks and tallied up abandoned houses or rental properties to be reported.

"It's been so positive...even comical at times. More than once I was asked if we were 'doing community service.' People actually thought we were all on parole! I told them yes, we were 'doing The Community a Service by volunteering to clean-up!' I think slowly but surely it is changing the way people in our neighborhood think. It will take time but little by little we're hoping to make Elliott a cleaner and safer place to live!"

Tot Against Litter

Keith Knecht:

"South Pittsburgh Development Corp. had a fall clean up October 11. Six volunteers collected 35 tall kitchen bags of litter and four 30 gallon bags of recyclables in three hours. They covered Brookline Boulevard to Whithead Street and every nook in between.

"Volunteers were Katie Hale, Mercy Faust, Eileen Papale, Lynne Knecht, Keith Knecht, and two guests. Jake Krohn who, with Boris Weinstein organizes Citizens Against Litter in Shadyside, joined us with his 6 month old son, Gus, in a stroller. Gus is the youngest volunteer in the city, hands down. Jake's wife, Arielle, works at the Brookline Branch of Carnegie Library."

No-man's land targeted

We got to it! Boundary Street at Fifth Avenue and Neville in Oakland is one of those "no-man's land" places that motorists ride through and litter to death. A lot of Boundary Street was cleaned up October 18 by adult and youngster volunteers from St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. Dozens of volunteers -- knowing the value of community service -- spent several hours in three other Oakland zones as well: Around South Bouquet Street, Oakland Square and streets east of Bates Street. What made their effort even more terrific is that these volunteers -- members of the church -- came from all parts of the area to clean Oakland, from places like Zelienople, Murrysville, Hampton, Thornburg and McMurray.

80 neighborhoods in Redd Up

Thanks to all the neighborhoods (in and outside the city and Allegheny County), groups and individuals who participated in the two weekend Redd Ups in October. We think our forecast of participation of more than 10,000 held up and probably was exceeded. In that number, there were 4,000 to 5,000 school kids and another 2,000 college kids. Surely, well over 3,000 adults took to the streets. The 80 plus city neighborhoods that participated were: Allegheny West, Allentown, Banksville, Bedford Dwelling, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Bluff, Bon Air, Brighton Heights, Brightwood, Brookline, Carrick, California-Kirkbride, Central North Side, Chartiers, Crafton Heights, Crawford Square, Downtown Pittsburgh, Duquesne Heights, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Hills, East Liberty, Elliott, Fineview, Friendship, Garfield, Greenfield, Hays, Hazelwood, Highland Park, Homewood, Larimer, Lawrenceville, Lower Hill, Lincoln Place, Morningside, Mount Washington, Mount Oliver, Mexican War Streets, New Homestead, Northview Heights, Oakland, Observatory Hill, Overbrook (Fairhaven Greenery), Park Place, Perry Hilltop, Polish Hill, Regent Square, Ridgemont, Schenley Heights, Sheraden, Shadyside, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, South Point Breeze, St. Clair, Squirrel Hill, Spring Garden, Spring Hill, Stanton Heights, St. Clair, Summer Hill, Swisshelm Park, Troy Hill, Uptown, West End, Westwood and Windgap.

Pitt made a difference

Much of the success of the October Redd Ups goes to the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt scheduled its first "Pitt Make A Difference Day" community service event on October 18. Pitt partnered with Citizens Against Litter and assigned 1,500 of its student volunteers to Redd Up projects, many more than for other projects as it turned out. If not for Pitt volunteers, many neighborhoods and communities would not have had Redd Ups because often volunteers are hard to come by. These neighborhoods and communities thank Pitt students for their time, hard work and enthusiasm. Pittsburgh is a cleaner place because of them. We're hoping "Make A Difference Day" is repeated next October.

Thirty-three city neighborhoods and communities benefitting from the Pitt volunteers were: Bloomfield, Larimer, Oakland, Stanton Heights, East Liberty, Mount Oliver, Perry Hilltop, California-Kirkbride, Allentown, Beechview, Mount Washington, Duquesne Heights, Beltzhoover, Fineview, Hays, Lincoln Place, New Homestead, Shadyside, Carrick, Lawrenceville, Beechview, Shadyside, Mexican War Streets, Central North Side, Friendship, Garfield, and, out of the city, Penn Hills, Dormont, Aspinwall, Homestead, West Homestead, and Wilkinsburg.

Glowing reports from the neighborhoods can be read on the Citizens Against Litter website.

Last call

Not exactly the same as the last player's name to be called in the NFL draft that becomes a trivia footnote, Observatory Hill had the last Redd Up in October when some 40 Perry High students collected litter last week. High fives to them.

"I Litter" awards

Advertising flyers become litter in Shadyside and elsewhere. These businesses are responsible and put their business on Shadyside streets.


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.


There's been a large paint can on the sidewalk in front of 721 Copeland in Shadyside for about three weeks. Wonder how much longer it will sit there?

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 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 or call 412-688-9120.

Mark your 2009 calendar once

It's quite an event: Watching climbers redding up Pittsburgh's world-famous hillside. The Explorers Club of Pittsburgh with the Mt. Washington CDC has scheduled its 18th annual Mt. Washington cleanup Saturday, March 28, 2009.

Mark your 2009 calendar twice

Fineview and Spring Garden/East Deutschtown are the first two city neighborhoods to commit to the spring Redd Up which will be held April 17-19, the weekend prior to Earth Day (April 22). Both neighborhoods had spectacular Redd Ups with Pitt student volunteers joining their own resident volunteers October 18. They were anxious to kickoff the spring event which in 2008 attracted more than 180 communities and between 15,000 and 20,000 in Allegheny and Beaver counties. Other neighborhoods have also started to sign on.

Scholastic/Lexus Environmental Challenge

Get information on this competition which encourages middle and high school students to implement environmental programs for their communities. Maximum award: $10,000. Deadline varies. Contact

From The Green Book

Attention schools: Practice recycling, and encourage your teachers and students to recycle as well. By recycling 90% of the waste that would otherwise go to a landfill, a single elementary school could save $6,000 per year in landfill disposal costs.

Recent Litter-ature

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

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