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Citizens Against Litter

October 2009 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Your votes really count; G-20 Clean Up wrap up; Shadyside revisited; Pitt Make A Difference Day October 17; Vote to "Gee Whiz" ourselves; Let's hear it from our stewards; Illegal Dump Survey a must read; Best Buy may be best bet; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Nominate a Redd Up star; How litter happens

Our mission

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

Your votes really count

PA Resources Council's Uptown Education and Beautification Project is a finalist for one of five Tom's of Maine Sponsorships of $20,000.

The Uptown Education and Beautification Project is a series of one-day community beautification and recycling events, planned for Pittsburgh's Uptown neighborhood where residents will increase their neighborhood involvement and learn useful skills for their own community improvement. With vacant lot cleanups, recycling collections, and composting classes, participants will work together to enhance where they live. PRC feels that facilitating public support and involvement in beautification and recycling efforts will result in a cleaner Uptown.

This will improve quality of life and drive economic development in an area adversely affected by an urban renewal campaign in the 1960's and it has been slow to recover. The end goal is for residents to gain pride in their community as they become stewards of the environment and neighborhood renewal.

PRC is one of 50 projects selected to be in the running for a scholarship. People can go online to Tom's of Maine to vote for their favorite project (up to five times a day) and the top 5 vote getting projects win the Sponsorship!

Voting started September 23 and runs through October 30. Please help PRC to attain the sponsorship and fund the Uptown Education and Beautification Project! Visit to vote!

G-20 Clean Up wrap up

One thousand strong. "They cleaned up and beautified like they were a million," say I. Wherever I went, whatever I heard about the September 12 Clean Up, it was the same story. The 20 high visibility places volunteers roamed picking up litter and trash were made absolutely spotless. Public Works estimates our haul as "easily more than 10 tons." And that's a conservative estimate. On Banksville Road alone, for example, where there were about 40 volunteers, PennDOT told Carol Knox, the project leader, that "you guys filled an 8-ton truck." Oakland and South Side attracted the most volunteers, more than 150 each. Two Adopt-a-Highway groups on I-376 East -- one with 16 volunteers and the other with 8 -- collected more litter than ever for a single clean up. G-20 visitors had a litter-free experience if they ventured up to the West End Overlook in Elliott for what some think is the best view of Downtown at the Point. About 100 Home Depot volunteers transformed the vacant lot at the top of the Parkway West at Greentree Road from dirty dirt to lush plantings.

Hanging in there the whole time -- eight weeks before and during the one-day G-20 volunteer effort and after -- were City Public Works, County Public Works, PennDOT and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. This was a stellar city-county-state project.

Shadyside revisited

The streets around Walnut Street were still litter-free four days after the Big G-20 Litter Lift, except for the single-sheet flyers from litterer The Hypnosis Center. If you're pointing fingers for littering, aim at businesses putting their business on the street.

"Pitt Make A Difference Day" October 17

The second "Pitt Make A Difference Day" promises to have a huge impact on city neighborhoods and Allegheny County communities participating in the Fall Redd Up on Saturday, October 17 -- a little more than one month after the G-20. As many as 2,400 student volunteers are expected to take part in Pitt's day of community service. They will join residents and swell participation to a projected 10,000 volunteers. "Our plans are to bring a busload of 44 volunteers to each neighborhood," said Terry Milani, Director of Student Outreach. "Our kids loved the interaction with residents last year. Neighborhoods told us we made a difference."

Most of these communities (and groups) have confirmed their participation:

Allentown, Banksville Road, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Brookline, California-Kirkbride, Carrick, Crafton Heights, East Liberty, Fineview, Eliza Furnace Bike Trail, Friendship, Garfield, Greenfield, Hays (with Lincoln Place and New Homestead), Hazelwood, Hill District, Homewood (with North Point Breeze), Larimer, Lawrenceville, Knoxville, Manchester, Mt. Oliver, Central North Side (with Mexican War Streets), Mount Washington (with Duquesne Heights), Oakland, Perry Hilltop, Polish Hill, Shadyside, Sheraden, Strip District, South Side Flats, Spring Garden and Summer Hill, Troy Hill and Westwood.

Outside the city, Aspinwall, Dormont, Etna, Homestead, McKees Rocks, Mount Lebanon, Penn Hills, West Homestead, Wilkinsburg and Wilkins will have Pitt volunteers.

All but six of the 90 city neighborhoods are expected to participate in the October Redd Up.

Pittsburgh Public Schools, private and parochial schools will participate in Stash the Trash Day Friday, October 16. In the past, as many as 4,000 to 4,500 students and more than 45 schools have turned out to make the event successful.

Vote to "Gee Whiz" ourselves

Eileen Papale of Brookline is right. G-20 Clean Ups are fine to impress visitors but Pittsburghers should "Impress Yourself! You're Worth It!" Brookliners redded up the neighborhood all last month and will participate in the city-wide Redd Up Saturday, October 17.

We're with you Eileen. We want to feel that Gee Whiz buzz year 'round.

Let's hear it from our stewards

Pittsburgh is cleaner these days because a network of Clean Pittsburgh Stewards organizes Redd Ups regularly in most of our 90 neighborhoods.

The four-year old Clean Pittsburgh Commission will bring stewards together at its first "Meeting-on-the-Go" Wednesday, October 21 at the CCI Center on the South Side. "We want feedback," said Boris Weinstein, CPC chair. "We hope they give us an earful of good stuff as to how we can help them do their job better."

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, surveys conducted in 37 Pennsylvania counties by PA CleanWays reveal that there are 4,159 sites containing an estimated 15,000 tons of trash. Clean Pittsburgh Stewards can view completed surveys. Visit

Best Buy may be best bet

A reader shared her experience of keeping her own discarded TV set far away from a dumpsite. "I didn't want it in a landfill", she wrote. "I learned Best Buy recycles TV's for free. Just take it to them. The mini catch is, I had to pay $10 but Best Buy then issued me a $10 gift card." Other retailers may have similar programs.

"I Litter" awards

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


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.

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

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

How litter happens

Most times litter happens when someone throws or drops stuff on the ground. Not so with a serviceable green garden sprinkler can that has been on a small plot in front of a house at 619 Copeland Street in Shadyside. It's been there since spring. The can gets no respect. No one seems to want it. I pass it daily. I've done everything but put it on the porch. Now I'm been tempted to pick it up and get rid of it. Help me, is it litter yet?

Recent Litter-ature

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

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