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Citizens Against Litter

June 2009 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Think Green. Think Redd.; Citizen reach out for help; Stash the Trash recognition; Pirates batting for Redd Up; Above and beyond; Adopt-A-Neighbor; "Make A Difference Day"; New trash cans in Polish Hill; Glitter after litter; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Garbageville tour; Important phone numbers; Nominate a Redd Up star

Our mission

Our mission is to inspire people throughout the city and region to collect litter and connect neighborhoods.

Think Green. Think Redd.

The hot colors today are green and redd. Green is the way to think these days. Some call it the 4R's -- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover. Keep thinking Redd too. Pittsburghers are on a roll redding up their neighborhoods. They do it in a big way in April and October. We encourage them to Redd Up even more often.

Citizens reach out for help

"I got your name from the Redd Up Pittsburgh website. I'm hoping you can help me. The residence next to a townhouse that I own in the Sheraden area has been abandoned. The property is completely overgrown with grass, weeds and debris. There are rodents in and around the property. The owner of the house uses it as storage and does not reside there. There is an abandoned car with an expired license plate in the driveway that hasn't been moved in years. The house is on Ladoga Street. I have contacted the owner on several occasions to try and resolve the issues, to no avail. If you are not the correct person to contact I would greatly appreciate it if you could point me in the right direction."

(Name withheld)

A letter to the editor in the Post-Gazette April 26 from another citizen read in part, "I recently moved into a home in Beechview. The house next door is vacant; the grass is knee-high, the front steps are crumbling and there is trash strewn about the side and back yards. The house is an eyesore. The broken glass is a danger to my children; it's a magnet for criminal activity. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the owner is actually...the city of Pittsburgh."

(Name withheld)

Let's see how long it takes for these complaints to be resolved.

Stash the Trash recognition

More than a 100 school kids spent the morning Friday, May 8 at City Hall. They were representatives of more than 3,500 students in 46 city schools who took part in April's Stash the Trash Day. The kids assembled in Council Chambers and met with Council members Darlene Harris, Bruce Kraus and Bill Peduto who talked with them and answered their questions. Kids also sat around the large table in the Mayor's Conference Room where they accepted certificates and Litterbug bobbleheads for their schools. They also had pictures taken in the Mayor's Office with the Litterbug and Buster mascots.

School kids comprised about 35% of all city residents who participated in April Redd Ups in 86 neighborhoods. Primanti's and Eat 'n' Park provided lunch for the kids. Pennsylvania Resources Council manages Stash the Trash for the Clean Pittsburgh Commission with Pittsburgh Public Schools and other schools.

Pirates batting for Redd Up

"Now batting for Redd Up are the Pittsburgh Pirates"

That could be the announcement over the PNC PA system. The Pirates are working with Citizens Against Litter and a growing number of neighborhood groups and schools. They are giving free game tickets to young people who volunteer for Redd Ups and who normally would find it difficult to go to games. About 20 groups are participating. "We're advancing the program slowly to make sure we get it right," said Boris Weinstein. "The Pirates Diversity Initiative Program Manager Chaz Kellem has been terrific." For information contact Boris at 412-688-9120 or boris.weinstein@verizon.net.

Above and beyond

It seems like there are more people actually picking up litter than spotting people who litter. Many of these people travel the extra mile. Carol Knox of Beauty on Banksville relates this litter tale about her friend Sandy.

"I had a luncheon at Nevillewood today (April 25) and on the way there -- from Giant Eagle to Route 50 -- people in fluorescent vests were picking up trash on both sides of the highway during their Redd Up. Coming home from the luncheon it was so beautiful and clean until the Giant Eagle on Cochran Road. It was so bad there that I came home, changed clothes, grabbed my bag and orange vest, went out and cleaned up the mess. I emptied my big bag a couple of times at the GetGo dumpster. It was so hot I thought at one point I wasn't going to be able to make it back home. I got water a couple of times from the gas station and had to lie down and rest in the shade."

Adopt-A-Neighbor

Citizens Against Litter recommends a new painless Redd Up initiative. One that you can do day in and day out.

Individuals are not likely to Adopt-A-Highway. That's left to businesses and groups and many of them do it and it's effective. However, "Adopting a Neighbor" should be right up your alley. It's do-able. Look to your right, look to your left or look up or down your street. I'm recommending you cross property lines and at the same time you're redding up your own property, you go the extra mile and pick up your neighbor's litter. That kind of redding up will make your place look twice as good. Your neighbor will appreciate it and -- guess what? -- he or she will probably do the same for you.

Pitt "Make A Difference Day"

More than 40 city neighborhoods and communities have been contacted about getting student volunteers on Pitt "Make A Difference Day" Saturday, October 17. Pitt's day of community service coincides with the fall Redd Up weekend, October 16-18. Students work with neighborhood volunteers. The goal is to place 44 volunteers -- a busload -- into each neighborhood. More than 2,400 Pitt students may take part says Terry Milani, Director of Student Volunteer Outreach.

New trash cans in Polish Hill

"Have you noticed the new trash cans on Brereton and Dobson Streets? Have you noticed more trash cans just in general in Polish Hill? A nice round of applause for Mayor Ravenstahl and Neighborhood Initiative for these handy containers!"

More at BLOGSKI, a Polish Hill Blog, at http://blogski.phcapgh.org/?p=817.

Glitter after litter

The area around Wendy's and Blockbusters and the big church -- bounded by Baum Boulevard, South Graham, Dapper Way and Centre Avenue -- has never been cleaner. Thanks to Citizens Against Litter and after two hours of picking up. The area will glitter for a couple weeks. True, the businesses don't produce the litter. Customers do. But it would be appreciated for businesses to send crew members out on their property once in a while to pick up their paper products that put their business on the street -- in an unflattering way.

"I Litter" awards

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

Garbagevilles

Garbagevilles are houses, buildings, streets, alleys and places that look awful because of litter, garbage, unswept leaves, cigarette butts and other stuff. Here are some.

Garbageville tour

A friend, Arthur Spiegel, is fascinated by the Newslitter's monthly listings of Garbagevilles and has suggested creating a Garbageville Tour. It would be on the order of Hollywood's Celebrity House Tour or the Pittsburgh Trolley Tour. "This one," pipedreams Arthur, "would visit the most interesting Garbagevillle attractions...like Dumpster Alley, the Howe, Bellefonte and Ivy street houses and the most littered places in the city. Mr. Letterman would narrate from the mike. Proceeds would go toward purchasing gloves, bags and safety vests for Redd Ups.

Important phone numbers

Need to contact the city about something that's 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.

Nominate a Redd Up star

Last March the Clean Pittsburgh Commission honored outstanding city neighborhood volunteers for their community service in Redd Ups and their year-'round anti-litter activities. They received Bob Awards, named for our late Mayor Bob O'Connor. Tell us about deserving volunteers in your neighborhood for consideration to receive 2010 "Bobbies." E-mail boris.weinstein@verizon.net.

Recent Litter-ature

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


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