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Citizens Against Litter

March 2009 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; A look back to 2003; Spring Redd Up update; Redd Up support growing; Need gloves and bags?; Pittsburgh Cares volunteers; Steward Mixer March 19; Carrick gold: New trash cans; Blue bags in Polish Hill; Pitt Make A Difference Day; Important phone numbers; Sue Wiseman Scholarship; The way we think

Our mission

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

A look back to 2003

Six years ago, I made a presentation to a Shadyside group about the litter problem in our neighborhood and the city. It was the beginning of Citizens Against Litter. Because I spent February away from the city and away from my computer, I'm looking back to that time and sharing those "ancient" remarks with readers of NEWSLITTER. Guess what? What was proposed in 2003 is happening in our city today.

The presentation follows:

"My name is Boris Weinstein and I hate litter.

I'm not alone. There are hundreds...thousands of us in Pittsburgh. If it was up to us, Pittsburgh would be a cleaner city.

To do something about it, though, we have to get our act together. We have to become an organization. Something like: Citizens Against Litter.

Attempts to eliminate or control litter all over the city have not worked for Pittsburgh. As a result, concerned citizens in Pittsburgh are not happy and visitors label us a "dirty city".

Just about the same time last fall (2002), I approached Bill Peduto with an anti-litter plan. It was NOT a citywide plan. It was a plan suggested for one neighborhood -- Shadyside. Bill likes the idea. He agrees starting small is a way to see if it would gain support of residents and businesses. If it works, more neighborhoods would be added. It could grow into a citywide initiative. This is the proposal.

This plan has a good chance to work. It's worth a shot. Once volunteers are in place, I believe litter can be kept under control -- and stay under control. We could see results within a few weeks.

In addition to the proposal, I have also shared with Bill a rough breakout plan of Shadyside. I walked the neighborhood and identified all the streets and alleys. I created 17 areas...not counting Walnut Street and Ellsworth Avenue businesses. When we recruit three volunteers for each of the 17 areas, we would become a group of 50 litter fighters.

That's a big "WHEN". When we recruit 50 volunteers. When 50 volunteers stay with the program. When 50 volunteers regularly remove litter from their little part of the world."

(In April 2009, an estimated 15,000 volunteers will take to the streets in most of the city's 89 neighborhoods and 40-50 other communities to pick up everyday litter during the Redd Up April 24-26 weekend and before and after. Volunteers are being organized and recruited in Pittsburgh by committed neighborhood leaders called Clean Pittsburgh Stewards.)

Spring Redd Up update

The official date of the Great PA Cleanup is Saturday, April 25 which comes after Earth Day (April 22). For Pittsburgh's three-day Redd Up weekend, Stash the Trash for school youngsters will be Friday, April 24. Most neighborhood volunteers will clean up Saturday, April 25. Other neighborhoods will clean up Sunday, April 26.

Redd Up support growing

The number of communities and groups that will participate in the spring Redd Up April 24-25-26 (or on other dates) is growing. Citizens Against Litter has heard positively from over 130, including 84 city neighborhoods:

Allentown, Arlington, Beautify Banksville Road, Bedford Dwellings, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Bluff, Bon Air, Brightwood, Brighton Heights, Brookline, Carrick, California-Kirkbride, Central Northside, Chartiers, Crafton Heights, Crawford Square, Downtown, Duquesne Heights, Duquesne University Evergreen, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Hills, East Liberty, Elliott, Esplen, Explorers Club, Fineview, Friendship, Friends of the Riverfront (Jail Trail), Friends of Route 28, Garfield, Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Hays, Hazelwood, Highland Park, Homewood, Larimer, Lawrenceville, Lincoln-Larimer, Lower Hill, Lincoln Place, Knoxville, Manchester, Mount Oliver, Mt. Washington, Mexican War Streets, New Homestead, Nine-Mile Run Watershed, Northview Heights, Oakland, Oakwood, Observatory Hill, Overbrook (Fairhaven Greenway), Park Place, Perry Hilltop, Pittsburgh Cares, Pittsburgh Job Corps, Polish Hill, Regent Square, Renew Pittsburgh, Ridgemont, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, Sheraden, South Side, South Side Slopes, South Point Breeze, Spring Garden, Spring Hill, Squirrel Hill, St. Clair, Stanton Heights, Summer Hill, Swisshelm Park, Troy Hill, Uptown, Westwood and Windgap.

Allegheny County communities:

Aspinwall, Bethel Park, Carnegie, Dormont, Duquesne, Etna, Fox Chapel, Franklin Park, Hampton, Harrison, Heidelberg, Indiana, Leetsdale, Lincoln, Mount Oliver, McCandless, McKees Rocks, Millvale, Monroeville, Munhall, Oakmont, Ohio, Penn Hills, Pine, Reserve, Richland, Ross, Shaler, South Park, Stowe, Tarentum, Verona, West View, White Oak, Wilkins, and Wilkinsburg.

Beaver County: Ambridge, Beaver, Brighton, Center, Darlington, New Brighton, and Vanport,

Butler County: Butler.

Washington County: Cross Creek, Nottingham, Robinson. Westmoreland County-Delmont, Derry, Unity, Ligonier.

Need gloves and bags?

Allegheny CleanWays invites groups in city neighborhoods, boroughs and townships to contact them for gloves, bags and safety vests for volunteers for the April Redd Up. You can contact Myrna Newman at myrnan@alleghenycleanways.org or 412-381-1301. Contact Allegheny CleanWays soon. Don't be shut out.

Pittsburgh Cares volunteers

Neighborhoods and communities can request volunteer help for their Redd Ups through Pittsburgh Cares. Requests should be made immediately. One-time volunteer request forms for your Redd Up can be found on the Pittsburgh Cares website.

Steward Mixer March 19

The Clean Pittsburgh Commission will honor neighborhood Clean Pittsburgh Stewards at its second Meet 'n' Greet Mixer Thursday, March 19 at the Schenley Park Ice Skating Rink Lodge from 6 to 8 p.m. An awards program for neighborhoods, stewards, volunteers, non-profits, schools and city employees will be initiated. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is expected to speak.

Carrick gold: New trash cans

It's like gold. Jean Fink, president of the Carrick Community Council, had good news for the Carrick Litter Patrol: 12 new trash cans, courtesy of the Mayor's Office through a neighborhood improvement program. You can contact the Litter Patrol to offer suggestions where to place the cans. Dawn Harder also tells the Newslitter that older trash cans will be repainted with the help of students and art teachers.

Blue bags in Polish Hill

Terry Doloughty, president of the Polish Hill Civic Association, writes:

"I wanted to let you know a bit of important info that might be worth sharing. One of our Stewards, Josie Ramsey, has made it a point to have all of our volunteers carry recyclable bags during our clean up efforts. We are proud to announce that in addition to keeping Polish Hill a cleaner place, we have also been able to stop a large amount of the litter we pick up from becoming more trash in a landfill. We are it returning to the recycling system where it belongs.

The last clean up we had almost an equal number of recyclable bags to trash bags. Josie Ramsey's efforts should be recognized. Josie continues with other neighbors to impress us with her thoughts on how to keep Polish Hill greener and cleaner."

Pitt Make A Difference Day

Planning is underway for Pitt's "Make A Difference Day" participation in the Fall Redd Up. The fall Redd Up dates will probably be on the October 10 or October 17 weekend. As many as 2,000 Pitt students may be involved with busloads of volunteers supporting local residents in more than 30 neighborhoods. Citizens Against Litter is coordinating the Pitt effort with Terry Milani of the Office of Student Life.

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.

Sue Wiseman Scholarship

PA CleanWays is accepting applications for the $1,000 Sue Wiseman Scholarship. The scholarship is open to Pennsylvania youths, age 16-21, who have initiated and carried out personal project(s) that address littering, illegal dumping prevention, recycling, proper disposal, beautification, or education. An education project must address one of the topics listed.

Do you know someone who is passionate about the environment? Have they worked to develop a project that has improved their community?If you, your friends or your family knows of a self-motivated individual who has worked to find a viable solution to an environmental problem, tell them about the Sue Wiseman scholarship.

Application must be postmarked by May 1, 2009. The scholarship recipient will be notified in September. Application forms are available electronically or by calling 724-836-4121, ext. 104.

The scholarship is named for Sue Wiseman, whose own commitment and dedication to a cleaner environment led to the founding of PA CleanWays in 1990.

The way we think

Judy Pugar of Ambridge reminds us of a Margaret Mead quote. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does."

Recent Litter-ature

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


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