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Citizens Against Litter

September 2009 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; G-20 Redd Up Saturday, September 12; Getting the word out; "Pitt Make A Difference Day" October 17; Illegal dump survey a must-read; One down, 278 to go; Shadyside's Top 10 reasons for litter; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Nominate a Redd Up star; True or false? ; Seattle says no; The value of a volunteer; Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

Our mission

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

G-20 Redd Up Saturday, September 12

Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, PennDOT, Western PA Conservancy and Friends of the Riverfront have been focused on the G-20 Summit (September 24-25) for many weeks. They've been planning, planting and Redding Up business districts, highways, bridges, intersections, traffic circles, trails and the riverfront. These activities will continue throughout September.

Allegheny Conference and Pittsburgh Cares are coordinating volunteer recruitment and assignment to neighborhoods and other strategic places in the city and county for the G-20 Redd Up Saturday, September 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Some dates and start times vary).

This is the Strategic Plan the city and county adopted to make the area shine as Pittsburgh welcomes thousands of world economic leaders, staffs and media.

Strategies: Focus on Downtown. Focus on high profile, high visibility neighborhoods, business districts, highways, roads and bridges. Focus on routes into Downtown from International Airport and County Airport. Focus on the casino, North Shore and new arena construction site.

Tactics: Downtown Partnership to do what it always does but as its executive director says, "Even better." URA to ask "Main Street" programs to get businesses to clean sidewalks, streets and gutters in front of their stores. Public Works to clean heavy-traffic roads, intersections, traffic circles, bridges that require lane closures. Special emphasis on Bigelow Boulevard, Boulevard of the Allies, McArdle Roadway, East and West Carson Streets, Ohio River Boulevard, Fifth Avenue, and Forbes Avenue through Uptown.

County to work with PennDOT and Adopt-A-Highway groups on Routes 376, 279 and 79. County to work with boroughs and townships along the Parkway, interstates and Route 51 to clean roads and hillsides of litter and trash.

Citizens Against Litter to work with Clean Pittsburgh Stewards in neighborhoods that will attract most of the visits from delegations and media. These include Mt. Washington, Elliott (West End Overlook), Strip District, North Shore, Shadyside, Oakland and South Side.

Citizens Against Litter to contact all Clean Pittsburgh Stewards in the city to clean their main streets and shopping centers.

Citizens Against Litter to help coordinate efforts by Allegheny Conference and Pittsburgh Cares to assign more than 750 volunteers into city neighborhoods and other places.

Public Works, County Public Works, PennDOT and Allegheny CleanWays to distribute gloves safety vests and bags to volunteers.

Getting the word out

TV, radio and newspapers have responded well to requests to invite the public to volunteer for clean up and beautifications projects in the city and county. Thanks go out to Comcast Newsmakers, WPXI-TV's Our Regions Business, KDKA-TV's Pittsburgh Today, WTAE-TV, KDKA Radio and others, of course. Volunteer signups are being taken through

"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, Arlington, Banksville Road, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Brookline, California-Kirkbride, Carrick, East Liberty, Esplen, Fineview, Eliza Furnace Bike Trail (along 2nd Avenue), 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, Stanton Heights, South Side Flats, Spring Garden and Summer Hill.

Outside the city: Aspinwall, Dormont, Etna, Homestead, McKees Rocks, Mount Lebanon, Sharpsburg, Penn Hills, West Homestead, Wilkinsburg and Wilkins.

All but six of the 90 city neighborhoods are expected to participate in the October Redd Up. The latest neighborhood to join in is West End Village.

Pittsburgh Public Schools, private, and parochial schools have been contacted to 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.

Illegal Dump Survey a must-read

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). PA CleanWays compiled the survey for 37 counties in the state where there are 4,159 sites containing an estimated 15,000 tons of trash.

Results of the survey can be found on the PA Cleanways site

One down, 278 to go

Bob McKinley, Executive Director of Allegheny CleanWays, told us that his group and volunteers removed 13 tons of litter, trash and construction materials plus tires from an illegal dump at 8434 Frankstown Avenue. in Homewood on August 15. Now there are 278 dumps in the city.

Shadyside's Top 10 reasons for litter

10. Pet owners
9. Automatic parking and bank receipts
8. Litterers dropping stuff on streets, sidewalks
7. Stuff thrown from cars
6. Flyers, newspaper sections and ad supplements
5. Garbage from open waste containers
4. Left-behind messes after garbage day pickups
3. Coffee shop take out
2. Fast food take out

And the Number One reason:

1. Cigarette butts and empty packs/boxes

"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

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 for consideration to receive 2010 "Bobbies." E-mail

True or false?

The guys in yellow who keep downtown sidewalks, gutters and streets clean picked up almost 47,000 bags of trash in 2008. At 20 pounds per bag, that equates to around 500 tons. Let's compare this number with the 2009 total when it's available. We'll see if it's true that people litter less when an area is litter-free. It seems to be true at amusement parks and ball parks. Even in supermarket parking lots and around post office boxes.

Seattle says no

Seattle voters rejected a 20-cent fee on plastic and paper bags. It's a defeat for other cities to limit the use of throwaway bags. The Progressive Bag Affiliates spent $1.4 million to defeat the ordinance. Supporters raised less than $100,000.

The value of a volunteer

One hour of a volunteer's time is now worth $20, so we're told. When the projected 1,200 volunteers spend three hours making our city and county look better for the G-20 Summit crowd on Saturday, September 12, their in-kind contribution will total about $72,000. Some say their efforts will help contribute a billion dollars in positive PR for Pittsburgh.

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honor young people in grades 5 through 12 who have demonstrated exemplary voluntary service to their communities. The maximum award is $5,000 for the honoree and a $5,000 grant from the Prudential Foundation to a nonprofit, charitable organization of their choice. Students in grades 5-12 who have conducted a volunteer service activity within the past year are eligible. The deadline is November 2, 2009. For more information, visit

Recent Litter-ature

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

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