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Citizens Against Litter

September 2008 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; October 10-12 Redd Up; Pitt to make a difference; We want to hear from stewards; Mexican War Streets call up; Join a river cleanup; Hazelwood wants volunteers; All about Brookline; Redd Up on the Mount; Buck-A-Bag; Renew Pittsburgh involved; UnYuck the Yough; Two tales of the city; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Neighborhood going to the dogs; Messy house of worship; Important phone numbers; We want volunteers; Whirl around the world; Phone book litter; "Policing the area"

Our mission

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

October 10-12 Redd Up

More than 70 city neighborhoods will be participating in the Fall Redd Up. Most neighborhoods will clean up litter on the October 10-12 weekend. Some will do it on Saturday, October 18. Others have Redd Ups scheduled a few weeks before. We expect this list of participating neighborhoods to grow.

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

Redd Ups will be going on at the Jail Trail, Route 28, Banksville Road, Trib Against Litter in Shadyside, and Nine Mile Watershed.

Pitt to make a difference

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

Terry Milani, Director of Pitt Student Volunteer Outreach, and LaTrenda Leonard, Pitt site coordinator, are our contacts. Clean Pittsburgh Stewards are being contacted and offered the services of dozens of volunteers for neighborhood cleanups.

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

Pitt student volunteers will be helping in Bloomfield, Larimer, Stanton Heights, East Liberty, Mount Oliver, Perry Hilltop, California-Kirkbride, Allentown, Mount Washington, Duquesne Heights, Beltzhoover, Knoxville, Hays, Lincoln Place, and New Homestead.

We want to hear from stewards

Attention stewards: You may be able to share in the availability of Pitt Make A Difference Day volunteers to join your neighbors for October Redd Ups. Contact or or call 412-688-9120.

Mexican War Streets call up

"Our next Clean Up Day will be Saturday, September 13 at 10 a.m. We changed the date this month from the first Saturday in preparation for the Mexican War Street annual house and garden tour. We will be picking up litter on the streets and sidewalks and freshening up the gardens. We will also put our weed whackers to good use to knock down weeds in the alleys and trim up the grass in Drover's Repose Garden.

"Volunteers will meet at Mechanic's Retreat Park at the intersection of Buena Vista and Jacksonia streets. Beleza coffee and tea vouchers will be provided along with bags and gloves. If you can give 10 minutes or a couple of hours, we can use you.

"We are also encouraging all of our neighbors to clean up in front of their property. Let's make our neighborhood shine! Next clean up day is October 4."

John Engle

Join a river cleanup

It's not too late to be involved in a river cleanup this season. The last Tireless Project is Saturday, September 20, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will meet in Lawrenceville to clean up litter and debris along the Lawrenceville Riverfront Trail and Allegheny River as part of the annual International Coastal Cleanup Day.

To get to the Lawrenceville site from downtown, take Liberty Avenue into Lawrenceville and turn left onto 40th Street. Proceed towards the 40th Street Bridge and turn right just before getting to the bridge. Continue on 40th Street Park in the parking lot at the end of the street.

Contact Myrna Newman at Allegheny CleanWays (412-381-1301 or to register or if you have any questions.

Hazelwood wants volunteers

The Hazelwood neighborhood has a clean up on Saturday, September 27. Organizers need volunteers from within and outside the neighborhood. The clean up precedes the neighborhood's October 5 race. Contact Elizabeth Wohlers, Hazelwood Initiative at or call 412-421-7234.

All about Brookline

M&J Auto Repair is very appreciative of a resident who picks up litter on Brookline streets every week. The owner shoved a $20 at him with the comment, "You deserve a lot more for what you do." The picker-upper said, "I do this because I don't want Brookline to look like I live in a slum."

In a related item, "The Mayor's office has funded a "hokey man" for Brookline, Carrick and Beechview business districts to share helping these neighborhoods with litter pick-up. However, even with "Hokey Man", I'm still picking up a lot anyway. But it's nice to get some help from the city. Sam Riston from Mazza Plaza still wants to keep picking up litter as well. It seems once it's in your blood you just can't let it sit there."

Keith Knecht

Redd Up on the Mount

They go by the name River Rats because they "UnYuck the Yough" often. The River Rats are also focusing attention on Mount Washington. On Saturday, Aug. 24, 10 volunteers took on famous Sycamore Street and other streets. They picked up 28 bags of everyday litter/trash and recyclables and scoped out areas for another day. In addition to spending $30 out-of-pocket, the River Rats had a lot of help from Allegheny CleanWays for gloves, bags and vests and from Public Works that hauled ways filled litter bags from four intersections.

River Rats will coordinate a larger cleanup for Mount Washington and Duquesne Heights with "Pitt Make A Difference" volunteers on Saturday, October 18.


The Redd Up Coalition in Squirrel Hill, Homewood and Point Breeze has scheduled its second Community Seder next April 1. It's an outgrowth of the "Collect Litter and Connect Neighborhoods" initiative started more than two years ago. Last year 130 people attended the dinner in Homewood. Next year it will be held in Squirrel Hill.

One of the fund-raising programs for the Seder dinner is a Buck-A-Bag campaign to collect a dollar from local businesses and individuals for the 2,500 bags of litter (25 tons) that will be picked up in the three neighborhoods during this fall's October Redd Up. Meetings with businesses in Squirrel Hill started last month. Response has been good. Contact or 412-688-9120 for information.

Renew Pittsburgh involved

Renew Pittsburgh is a new all-volunteer, non-partisan organization to promote renewing Pittsburgh from within. Volunteers came to Brookline on June 28 for a day of service.

Renew Pittsburgh Executive Director Kevin Acklin said, "We held our first event in Brookline, a great Pittsburgh neighborhood. Joined by several volunteers from Brookline and from around the city, we cleaned up Brookline Park, picked up garbage along Brookline Boulevard, handled several home projects for several elderly neighbors, and repainted the benches and iron fence surrounding the historic cannon war memorial. I want to thank the good people of Brookline for their hospitality and for helping our efforts to volunteer in such a great Pittsburgh neighborhood!"

Neighborhood folks reported that a lot of work got done that day. Thanks to Renew Pittsburgh for the help.

Renew Pittsburgh projects have been held also in Sheridan, Elliott, Hazelwood, Lincoln Place, North Side, Mount Troy, Carrick, Overbrook, Hill District, East Liberty, Lawrenceville, Homewood, and Brushton.

A membership event earlier netted the group about 100 volunteers.

UnYuck the Yough

"The Youghiogheny River needs your help! Please join us and the Unyuck Project/ River Rats Designs at the UnYuck the Yough river cleanup on Sunday, October 12 at 9 a.m.

"This is a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy a day on the river while we work to restore and protect this wonderful natural resource in our community. Register to volunteer at

"Please lend a hand in this important community service project because when you pitch in the Youghiogheny wins! See you on the river."

Stacey Magda and Amy Tronolone

Two tales of the city

It makes me happy when I see a building maintenance person -- first thing Monday morning -- brooming sidewalks and street gutters around the Hartwell Building at the intersection of Walnut and Aiken in Shadyside. This corner is always clean and that's the reason.

It makes me mad when I see advertising flyers from Relax and Wash Laundromat -- decorating every parked car window on Copeland, Ivy, Filbert, Bellefonte and Aiken -- become litter. This has been going on for two weeks. The new law prohibiting this kind of littering and distribution practices by businesses and non-profits will only be effective if fines are levied and enforcement follows.

"I Litter" awards

The list for Shadyside grows in the summer. Advertising flyers become litter. These businesses 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, cigarette butts and other stuff. Here are some.

Neighborhood going to the dogs

Sad to see. A dog owner or dog walker has been leaving plastic bags of dog-do on and around Pembroke Place, one of Shadyside's fancier streets, for someone else to get rid of.

Less than a block away, a homeowner at the corner of Westminster and St. James posted a sign which read: "I don't mind you eating here. Please clean up and don't leave a mess."

Other residents send "rat" flyers to suspected property owners who do little about keeping their garbage areas clean and waste container covers closed.

Messy house of worship

The flower garden of the First United Methodist Church at Aiken, Centre and Baum intersection is a thing of beauty and admired by motorists and pedestrians. However, the church's front lawn, sidewalk and gutters on Centre are a mess, maybe the most littered single place in Shadyside. Churchgoers do not make the mess but it's about time church caretakers Redd Up. That's what property owners are expected to do. It's the law.

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. The payoff: Clean streets and community pride. Please contact or call 412-688-9120.

Whirl 'round the world

A cyclist from Brookline rode his bike for six days over 20 to 30 miles of Cape Cod and saw less than six pieces of litter. Can we have a report from anyone on conditions on Pittsburgh's Cape May Street in the South Hills?

Phone book litter

The cause of a lot of litter. There are over 600 million yellow page phone books distributed in America, double the U.S. population, according to the Yellow Pages Association. Then add in the number of white page directories. This association spent thousands of dollars last year for lobbyists to beat back communities who wanted distribution curtailed in some way. Seven states have been unsuccessful floating legislation. A New York State councilman in Albany recently got involved to try to get something done about it after he saw phone books wrapped in plastic littering sidewalks, driveways and lawns while campaigning door-to-door. The point is that businesses rank up there as litter culprits along with drive-by, casual, and premeditated litterers.

"Policing the area"

Old phrases never die, they just fade away. In the Army I was in, soldiers kept their quarters and bases clean by "policing" the area. What we need in Pittsburgh are more "citizen soldiers" with that gung-ho passion.

Recent Litter-ature

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

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