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Citizens Against Litter

November 2009 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Stewards' Community Conversation; Hail to Pitt students; Large Stash the Trash turnout; Shadyside, Mt Lebanon both #1; Illegal dump survey must reading; Duck Hollow dumped; TLC from BBB; Brookline live wire; G-20 Partnership missed a few; Sidewalk stimulus; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; What a difference a day makes; Important phone numbers; Have litter; need help?; Nominate a Redd Up star; This dentist got drilled; Young Eco-Hero Awards; Flower power

Our mission

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

Stewards' Community Conversation

Members of the Clean Pittsburgh Commission thought it would be a worthwhile change to sit around and talk shop with a few dozen Clean Pittsburgh Stewards in place of a regular meeting. Their ideas and comments get our attention. Our stewards are the glue in a network of passionate citizens who help keep our neighborhoods litter free. The occasion was the first Community Conversation. It was held at the CCI Center on the South Side Oct. 21, four days after the city's fall Redd Up that brought 10,000 people onto the streets in 80 neighborhoods. The four top topics were: How neighborhoods can get their hands on supplies (beyond bags and gloves) like weed wackers, hedge cutters, picker uppers and brooms? Sources to get more volunteers. The city cleaning up city-owned vacant lots more regularly. And the city taking down more dilapidated buildings that become eyesores, disease carriers and drug-user havens. Stewards were told starting a Zero Tolerance Litter Policy program and moving more aggressively to eliminate illegal dumpsites are CPC priorities in 2010.

Hail to Pitt students

(This letter to the editor appeared in the Post-Gazette Wednesday, October 21.)

"Neither rain nor snow nor the threat of both could deter 3,000 Pitt students from 'Making a Difference' on their community service day and the city's fall Redd Up on Saturday.

"Soon after Pitt buses rolled into 55 neighborhoods on an overcast, dreary day, local residents were singing the praises of Pitt boys and girls who picked up litter and trash, tackled a few illegal dumpsites, mulched gardens and planted bulbs.

"The weather apparently frightened a few neighborhoods that rolled up their sidewalks and cancelled.

"But it was a great day in the neighborhoods for citizens against litter, who thanked Pitt students for their community service. Pittsburgh is a cleaner city because of them."

Boris Weinstein

Large Stash the Trash turnout

Several thousand students at more than 30 schools participated in the fall Redd Up Stash the Trash last month. Among them were: Miller, Milliones, Dilworth, Arsenal, Manchester, Concord, Greenfield, Fulton, CAPA-12, Carmalt, Westwood, Linden, Banksville, Pittsburgh Student Achievement Center, Montessori, Mifflin, Beechwood, St. Rosalia, St. Cyril of Alexandria, St Benedict Moor, St. John Neumann, Community Day, St. Edmunds, Taylor Allderdice, Colfax and Hillel Academy.

Shadyside, Mt. Lebanon both #1

At noon on Saturday, October 17, Richard Rattner, president of the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce, made his neighborhood the first in Pittsburgh to sign on for the spring 2010 Earth Day Redd Up that will coincide with the World Environment Day event to be hosted by Pittsburgh. On Sunday, October 18, Rob Papke signed up Mount Lebanon as the first Allegheny County community, saying that many of its 10-school PTA units are already making plans. Citizens Against Litter began contacting communities even while the fall Redd Up was in progress.

Illegal Dump Survey must reading

There are 279 illegal dump sites in Pittsburgh. They are identified by neighborhood. Contents are identified too (like numbers of tires, white goods, TVs, vehicle parts). Since 2005, to date surveys in 37 counties conducted in 37 PA counties by PA CleanWays reveal there are 4,159 sites containing an estimated 15,000 tons of trash. Clean Pittsburgh Stewards can view completed surveys. Visit

Duck Hollow dumped

I've just learned of a new local non-profit organization, Stash the Trash, and its first project. They cleaned up 70 per cent of an illegal dumpsite in Duck Hollow along the Mon River in Squirrel Hill. Six of their volunteers and other volunteers of Friends of the Riverfront gathered up 12 full truckloads of trash and debris in four hours October 17. Public Works hauled away the stuff the following Monday. This group means business. Welcome.

TLC from BBB

"Boris. Just a huge hug and thank you from BBB (Blitz on Banksville Beautification) for asking that we be included in the Pitt Make a Difference Day. The kids (39 young men) were wonderful, and we got 1,500 daffodil bulbs planted, trash removed, gardens mulched, etc. Altogether, it was a very energizing experience for all of us. 'Hope the kids enjoyed it as much as we did."

Carol Knox

Brookline live wire

"It's wonderful to hear that the cleanup was a success in Brookline. I was able to repair and rewire the new gateway sign at Whited and Jacob due to the recent vandalism. There remains one broken bulb in the center that will be replaced as well."

Jack Stanizzo

G-20 Partnership missed a few

Belated thank-yous to individuals and groups in the G-20 Clean Up omitted from the G-20 Partnership "Thank You" ad in the Post-Gazette October 11: Allegheny CleanWays, PA Resources Council, Citizens Against Litter, Clean Pittsburgh Commission, Clean Pittsburgh Stewards, Friends of the Riverfront, The Academy System, Pittsburgh Job Corps, Allegheny Courts Day Probation, and Duquesne University Evergreen.

Sidewalk stimulus

I don't know what's going on with sidewalks in your neighborhood but there's a mini sidewalk stimulus happening on Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside. To the music and lyrics of "Cement Mixer, Put-Ti, Put-Ti" there several dozen property owners having sidewalks replaced, including mine. Cause of much of the replacement is tree roots pushing up the cement that creates unsafe conditions. It's music to my ears taking place along Ellsworth Avenue from St. James to Ivy. Usually there are two, three, four workers involved and a cement truck ("See the mellow roony come out slurp, slurp, slurp"). Imagine the economic and beautification boost this could be for the whole city. Hope the Bureau of Building Inspection has sufficient manpower and time to cite many more property owners in Shadyside and in other neighborhoods. This mini sidewalk stimulus could develop into a boom for the city.

"I Litter" awards

Advertising flyers become litter in Shadyside and elsewhere. These businesses are responsible and put their business on Shadyside streets last month. Could the list be getting shorter?


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.

What a difference a day makes

Dumpster Alley in Shadyside (behind the Walnut Street shops) was transformed from Garbageville to garden-like during the Redd Up. No kidding. The alley has been taken off the "Garbageville most not-wanted list" at least for the month. We're rooting merchants like the new look so much they keep it that way.

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.

Have litter; need help?

I met a guy who sounds like someone after my own heart. He's a senior like me. He wants to help other seniors who can't pick up litter around their property or pull up sidewalk or gutter weeds. If you live in Squirrel Hill or Shadyside, give Joe a call. 412-521-4056. No Charge.

Nominate a Redd Up star

Next March the Clean Pittsburgh Commission will again honor outstanding city neighborhood volunteers for their community service in Redd Ups and for their year 'round anti-litter activities. Honorees will receive Bob Awards, named for our late Mayor Bob O'Connor. Tell us about deserving volunteers for consideration to receive 2010 "Bobbies." E-mail

This dentist got drilled

True story. A dentist from Carlisle -- with roots in Pittsburgh -- got drilled by a litter law for dropping a toothpick on the home grounds of a police officer he was "kinda' feudin'" with. The $300 fine seems excessive. Maybe he should have demanded a court case and protested on the grounds that he was just putting down one of the tools of his trade while adjusting the mask over his mouth.

Young Eco-Hero Awards

Action for Nature International Young Eco-Hero Awards recognizes the individual accomplishments of young people whose personal actions have significantly improved the environment. Maximum award: $500. Eligibility: youth ages 8-16. Deadline: February 28, 2010. See for more information.

Flower power

Thick branches toss and sway
Bending in unison to invisible powers

Bare leaved also
The rose bush bows
But still retains its fragrant flowers.

Hazel Cope, 2008

Recent Litter-ature

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

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