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Citizens Against Litter

April 2010 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Street cleaning begins April Fool's Day; Meet n' Greet "Bob Awards"; Home Depot Mixer sponsor; Reed on; Stash the Trash volunteers; Redd Ups now at 220 ; Beaver County's Project Greensweep; Register your event; Redd Up kids will see the Reds; Mr. Litterman on litter; "I Litter" awards; "Dog" man doesn't scoop; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Dates to remember; Litter facts; Why people litter?; "Call you back..."

Our mission

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

Street cleaning begins April Fool's Day

My April Fool's Day wish is that operators of street cleaner trucks and ticketers get on the same page and issue tickets for vehicles illegally parked in street cleaning zones. I don't know about your neighborhood, but in Shadyside streets remain unswept for the most part because access is denied. Ellsworth Avenue between Negley and Aiken is especially full of litter and leaves-turned-to-trash and mud. The same is true on Negley Avenue between Ellsworth and Walnut. But before you can sweeper-clean the street you have to get the cars removed. Sound logical? It doesn't happen. This kind of ticketing would benefit neighborhoods.

Meet n' Greet "Bob Awards"

Joe Divack, a retired resident of Squirrel Hill who relishes cleaning up illegal dumpsites all over the city, was selected Volunteer of the Year by the Clean Pittsburgh Commission. Divack along with five neighborhoods and five organizations were presented "Bob Awards", named for the late Mayor Bob O'Connor, Thursday, March 25, at the third annual Meet n' Greet Mixer saluting the city's Clean Pittsburgh Stewards in 90 neighborhoods.

Judy O'Connor, the Mayor's widow, and son Corey presented the Most Connected Neighborhoods award to Crafton Heights, Ridgemont and Westwood (Beth Ann Hanis); Knoxville (Sharlee Ellison) for Most Improved; and Esplen (Karen Kirchner) for Best Newcomer.

Stash the Trash, a volunteer group (Derek Green) that focuses on illegal dumpsite cleanups, was recognized. Three groups -- The Academy System (Nate Gillis), Pittsburgh Job Corps (Dorothy Sweeney) and Allegheny Courts Day Adult Probation (Dan Sommers) -- were recognized for providing their clients for many neighborhood Redd Ups. The Pittsburgh Pirates (Chaz Kellem) received a special award for hosting hundreds of school kids at this year's Stash the Trash Recognition Day at PNC Park May 12 (Pirates-Reds afternoon game).

Other volunteers nominated for the Volunteer of the Year award were Max Hurwitz, Beechview, Keith Knecht, Brookline, Carol Knox, Banksville Road, Terra McBride, South Side.

Clean Pittsburgh Commission issued its third State of the City Report detailing litter prevention/cleanups, illegal dumping, vacant lots and buildings, abandoned cars, graffiti, recycling and greening initiatives (The report is accessible online).

Almost 200 people attended the Meet n' Greet Mixer. Mingling with stewards and volunteers from more than 50 neighborhoods were Mayor Ravenstahl's administration officials, Public Works people and City Council members and staff.

Home Depot Mixer Sponsor

Home Depot was corporate sponsor of this year's Meet n' Greet Mixer. Pam Narvett, Team Depot Captain, attended the Mixer with associates James Meridian and J. B. Redd. No name could be more appropriate for an event about Redd Ups than J.B. Redd.

Reed on

Boy would I love to have Steeler kicker Jeff Reed on my litter team. Imagine the publicity possibilities.

Stash the Trash volunteers

Check out the Stash the Trash web site. Consider signing up to help them clean illegal dumps. Joe Divack and Derek Green were featured in a Post-Gazette front page article on Monday, March 29. They said "if we would have 40 to 50 volunteers we could clean 150 of the 279 known Pittsburgh dumps within a year".

You can find links to the Stash the Trash story, and more, on the Citizens Against Litter website.

Redd Ups now at 220

Community leaders in 85 city neighborhoods say they will participate in the spring Earth Day Redd Up on Saturday, April 17 and April 23-25 weekend. Many communities in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Westmoreland and Washington counties are also participating. "Our original goal was for Redd Ups to occur in most of the 90 city neighborhoods and another 100 communities in the region," said Citizens Against Litter. "We've already topped that. We're looking at more than 250 communities and groups now."

"This year is extra special because Pittsburgh will be the North American host city for the United Nations-sponsored World Environment Day, kicking off on Earth Day (40th year) and continuing for six weeks until June 5."

Mayor Ravenstahl's April message to neighborhoods suggests groups and individuals who want to redd up after the hard winter should contact Boris Weinstein at or call 412-688-9120. Participating communities and groups are:


Allegheny Courts Day Probation, Allegheny West, Allentown, Arlington, Arlington Heights, Beautify Banksville Road, Bedford Dwellings, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Bluff, Bon Air, Brightwood (Marshall-Shadeland), Brighton Heights, Brookline, Carrick, California-Kirkbride, Central Northside, Charters City, 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), Garfield, Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Harriet Tubman Tenant Council, Hays, Hazelwood, Highland Park, Homewood, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington, Lawrenceville, Lower Hill, Lincoln Place, Pittsburgh Kiwanis, Manchester, Mt. Oliver, Mt. Washington, Mexican War Streets, Middle Hill, Morningside, New Homestead, Nine Mile Run Watershed, North Point Breeze, North Shore, Oakland, Observatory Hill, Overbrook (Fairhaven Greenway), Perry Hilltop, Pittsburgh Cares, Pittsburgh Job Corps, Pittsburgh Parks (Panther Hollow), Pittsburgh Pirates, Polish Hill, Regent Square, Ridgemont, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, Sheraden, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, South Point Breeze, Spring Garden/ Deutschtown, Spring Hill-City View, Squirrel Hill, Stash the Trash, Stanton Heights, Summer Hill, Swisshelm Park, The Academy System, Troy Hill, Uptown, West End, Westwood and Windgap.

Allegheny County:

Allison Park, Aspinwall, Bellevue, Carnegie, Chalfant, Dormont, Dravosburg, Duquesne, Etna, Elizabeth, Findlay, Forest Hills, Glassport, Hampton, Heidelberg, Homestead, Leetsdale, Lincoln, Marshall, Moon, Monroeville, Mt. Oliver, Millvale, McKees Rocks, Mt. Lebanon, Harrison (Natrona Heights), North Versailles, North Fayette, Penn Hills, Pine, Pitcairn, Pleasant Hills, Port Vue, Rankin, Regional Environmental Education Center (Boyce Mayview Park), Robinson, Ross, Scott, Shaler, South Park, Stowe, Tarentum, Upper St. Clair, Verona, West Homestead, West View, White Oak, Wilkins, Wilkinsburg and Wilmerding.

Beaver County:

Ambridge, Beaver, Bridgewater, Brighton, Center (Aliquippa), Industry, Chippewa, Midland, New Brighton, Ohioville, Patterson Heights (Beaver Falls), Rochester, Vanport and Wild Waterways Conservancy.

Butler County:

Butler City, Cranberry, Center and Winfield.

Washington County:

California, Canonsburg, Canton, Charleroi, Chartiers, Cross Creek, Coal Center, East Washington, Fallowfield, Hanover, McDonald, Mount Pleasant, North Strabane, Nottingham, Peters, Robinson and Washington City.

Westmoreland County:

Delmont, Fairfield, Lower Burrell, Greensburg, Hempfield, Loyalhanna, Ligonier, New Kensington, Smithton, Unity, West Newton and Youngwood.

Beaver County's Project Greensweep

Hundreds of volunteers in eight Beaver County communities in Project Greensweep will again participate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 24. The communities are listed above. To volunteer contact Maryanne Peluso at or call 724-728-0500.

Register your event

Please register your Spring Earth Day Redd Up on the Great American Cleanup of PA web site. The more groups that register means communities will get more funding and supplies from the state and Keep America Beautiful.

Redd Up kids will see the Reds

Stash the Trash Recognition Day moves to PNC Park this spring. The Pirates will host hundreds of Pittsburgh school kids who participate in Stash the Trash Redd Ups on Friday, April 23, picking up litter around their schools. Redd Up kids will see the Pirates play the Cincinnati Reds (how appropriate) in an afternoon game Wednesday, May 12. Contact Sarah Alessio at PA Resources Council for details:

Mr. Litterman on litter

Boris Weinstein will speak about litter to the Society for Design Administration on April 14 and the Mt. Washington CDC on April 15.

"I Litter" awards

Advertising flyers become litter in Shadyside and elsewhere. Businesses/groups are responsible and put their business on Shadyside streets. Let's hope the mess they cause is reduced this year.

"Dog" man doesn't scoop

I was almost impressed. The hot dog vendor who sets up shop on the Walnut Street sidewalk Saturdays was back at his stand last month. With broom and dustpan in hand, I saw him sweep cigarette butts and other litter into the gutter from around his cart and nearby city waste container. I was hoping the "dog" man would complete his task by scooping up the gutter litter. No such luck...even though the litter was within inches of his cart.


March's worst Garbagevilles in Shadyside were at 5525-27 Ellsworth Ave. The mess in the rear of these two apartments was easily the worst I've seen in a long time. I spent two hours cleaning up around Waste Management trash containers, behind buildings, in the alley and in several blocks. Much of the problem is not enough waste containers that are stacked to overflow with lids wide open. The wind kicks up and you can figure out the rest.

Lids on waste containers not secured are easily one of the main causes of litter. And here you thought all the blame for our litter should be dumped on thoughtless, absent-minded littering pedestrian, smokers and beer, soft drink or water guzzlers.

Other Garbagevilles in Shadyside that look awful because of litter, garbage, unswept leaves, cigarette butts and other stuff are:

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.

Dates to remember

The second open Clean Pittsburgh Commission meeting -- known as "Community Conversation" -- bringing together Clean Pittsburgh Stewards from all 90 city neighborhoods is scheduled for Wednesday, May 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the CCI Center on the South Side.

The fall Redd Up dates will be October 15-17 wrapped around Pitt Make A Difference Day on Saturday, October 16. More than 2,500 Pitt students teamed with volunteers in more than 55 neighborhoods last year on their community service day. The volunteer goal this fall is 3,000 students.

Litter facts

Why people litter?

People litter because they do not feel responsible for public areas like streets and parks. The more they litter, the more it becomes a habit, and the worse the community looks.

People usually litter outside their own neighborhood where the trash becomes someone's problem.

People litter because they believe someone else -- a maintenance worker or a responsible neighbor -- will pick up after them.

Once litter starts to pile up, people feel even less responsible for adding to the litter. If an area is clean, people are less likely to litter.

Remember, we are all responsible for keeping our city clean. Your behavior makes a difference.

(The above was taken from the city of Chicago web site.)

"Call you back..."

Worth sharing. Last month on a Saturday I called Max Hurwitz, one of our Clean Pittsburgh Stewards in Beechview. I had a question. He picked up his cell after six rings. I identified myself. Max's response was, "Boris, can I call you back, we're in the middle of a cleanup." That says it all about the commitment to community service of many of our citizens.

Recent Litter-ature

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

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