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Citizens Against Litter

August 2010 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Report mail box graffiti; Stop counting sheep; "What can I do?"; What did 500 volunteers do June 19?; What did you do the July Fourth weekend?; Is this the end of illegal dumping on Enfield?; Do as Deloitte does; Bloomfield gets a clean over; Matches made in CPC "heaven"; CONNECTion made; Redd Up cook out; Stash the Trash volunteers needed; Fall Redd Up signs ups near 100 communities; Next Community Conversation October 20; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Pied pipers of pick up; One last word

Our mission

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

Report mail box graffiti

Pittsburgh Postmaster Rocco D'Angelo is asking the public for help to stamp out mail box graffiti. "Any mail box that is tagged or in need of repair should be reported to us by calling 412-359-7845." The Postal Service here has addressed graffiti and repairs to more than 60 boxes in Carrick/Mt. Oliver, Strip District and Bloomfield/Friendship. It is currently working in Oakland and South Side.

Stop counting sheep

Rather than counting sheep, Mr. Litterman suggests you count litter on a few streets where you live. See how your streets stack up against a compulsive litter gitter. Mr. Litterman did it on two blocks of four streets in the heart of Shadyside from Walnut to Ellsworth. His were not fancy-schmancy streets. These are streets -- among others -- that Mr. Litterman has adopted to keep clean. Many houses, many parked cars, many pedestrians. Copeland -- 27 pieces; Bellefonte -- 40; Filbert -- 40; and Ivy -- 52 (20 of them were in the street gutter on the side of Jitters coffee shop). Mr. Litterman's tally should be lower. What's yours?

"What can I do?"

A Mount Washington volunteer wannabe asked us, "What can I do to help?" He also told us he walks to work, either down McArdle Roadway or Sycamore Street. We suggested and he accepted this plan. "Call it 'Adopt-A-Route'. Carry plastic shopping bags and plastic gloves in your pockets. Pick up litter along the way and place the one or two bags of litter at the bottom and top of those streets. Weekly share your tally and we'll pass the idea and tally on to other volunteer wannabes." A lot of people do this. The moral? You don't have to be involved in one-time or two-time giant-size neighborhood Redd Ups to make a dent in getting rid of litter. Just carve out a niche for yourself. It beats talking a good game.

What did 500 volunteers do June 19?

They participated in the 20th annual River Sweep, sponsored by the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission, and collected more than 40 tons of junk, debris and garbage. That's less trash picked up than in previous years. The multi-state effort covered 26 sites along shorelines of the Allegheny, Mon, Beaver and Yough rivers. And if you're saying, "Gee, if I would have known they needed volunteers...", there's always next year. Volunteer wannabes should call 1-800-359-3977 for local coordinators.

What did you do over the July Fourth holiday?

Two 26-year old high school buddies -- one who lives on the South Side, and the other from D.C. -- spent part of their weekend cleaning up an eyesore on a vacant lot off East Carson St. 30 feet from a large dumpster. Their haul was a dozen large bags of the usual -- pizza boxes, napkins, drink cans and general trash.

In another part of the city -- Central Oakland -- Mr. Litterman was picking up litter on Ward St. and Zulema St. on Monday after surveying citizens' complaints about litter and general garbage mess on adjacent Wellsford St. Volunteers from The Academy School answered the call for help also. They converged on Wellsford St. Sunday morning, July 11 and returned the following three Sundays. City services have also responded.

Is this the end of illegal dumping on Enfield?

Time will tell. A combination of factors has resulted in a cleaner, less-littered Enfield St. between Centre Ave and Baum Blvd. in North Oakland. An illegal dumpsite across from CVS is now a cindered off-street parking area. Waste containers were moved to a different location and lids chained shut. A private parking section is maintained next to Pizza Hut. A new high fence was erected, discouraging dumping down the hillside. Mr. Litterman put the finishing touches on Enfield by picking up about 10 bags of litter. He revisited the site a week later and picked up a little litter around the empty waste container. Let's see if CVS, the other businesses and their customers continue to keep fresh would-be litter to themselves. So far so good.

Do as Deloitte does

In June, 450 volunteers of Deloitte, an accounting and consulting firm, converged on the South Side and South Side Slopes picking up litter, removing graffiti, painting railings, planting flowers, cleaning tree wells and dozens of other neighborhood projects. They even took inventory and assessed conditions of most of the 3,100 parcels in South Side Slopes. Deloitte's "Impact Day" was an incredible outpouring of community service. The firm has been doing this in other neighborhoods for years. South Side Local Development Co. and Pittsburgh Cares supported the Deloitte effort.

Bloomfield gets clean over

"Thought you might like to know that the Bloomfield Development Corporation organized a clean up Saturday, July 10. Twenty-eight volunteers turned out for two hours, cleaned and trimmed our tree beds and collected 10 bags of litter, including tons of cigarette butts. One business donated coffee at the start and another donated lunch at the end. It was a big success! Liberty Avenue looks fabulous! Thanks for all your hard work. Cleanups are planned every two months."

Terry Ford Aiello
Main Street Manager

Matches made in CPC "heaven"

Last month, the Newslitter told you about an upstart group, Rock the Block, gathering support in eight city neighborhoods to improve quality of life issues in Sheraton, Esplen, Chartiers City, West End, Windgap, Crafton Heights, Elliott and Westwood. This month we want to tell you about another group. The Work Center, a division of EDSI, is a re-employment transition center providing its clients with an opportunity to learn skills in the workplace through participation in a Paid Work Experience (PWE) program funded by the Department of Welfare. Principals of both organizations were guests at last month's Clean Pittsburgh Commission meeting. Rock the Block needs volunteers for programs it is planning. The Work Center -- with 400 clients -- will assign many volunteers to the "Rock" group. Specific projects are being discussed. The Work Center will also be discussing illegal dumpsite cleanup projects with Allegheny CleanWays.

CONNECTion made

Litter is one of the common problems Pittsburgh shares with its neighbors. This is the reason Citizens Against Litter is connecting with the Congress of Neighboring Communities, known as CONNECT. "We already work with more than half of the 35 'burbs that border Pittsburgh during the Spring and Fall Redd Ups involving 250 communities in five counties," said Boris Weinstein. "We are interested in improving and establishing more contacts with community leaders."

Citizens has had positive meetings with Kathy Risko, CONNECT Associate Director, and Kristen Michaels, project coordinator. "Our goal is to encourage all 35 townships and boroughs to have twice-a-year Redd Ups with Pittsburgh on the same weekends."

Redd Up cook out

Planners of the Homewood-Squirrel Hill-Point Breeze Coalition that oversees twice-a-year Redd Ups in which hundreds of adults and school kids participate had a cook out at the home of Jackie Dixon in late June. The coalition has been together for four years. It's a great example of how collecting litter grew into connecting neighborhoods.

Stash the Trash volunteers needed

Check out the Stash the Trash web site. Consider signing up to help them clean illegal dumps. Stash the Trash says, "If we would have 40 to 50 volunteers we could clean 150 of the 279 known Pittsburgh dumps within a year." I bet they could.

Fall Redd Up signs ups near 100 communities

For the third year Pitt Student Volunteer Outreach and Citizens Against Litter will partner for "Make a Difference Day", Pitt's terrific community service day. The goal this fall is to place 3,000 student volunteers in more than 55 city neighborhoods and Allegheny County communities on Saturday, October 16 during the fall weekend Redd Up on October 15-17. Terry Milani, Director, Student Volunteer Outreach, said students look forward to the interaction with residents as they work together to remove litter and trash. Some communities involve the students on planting and beautification projects.

Pittsburgh neighborhoods/groups and Allegheny County communities confirmed are: Allentown, Arlington, Beautify Banksville Road, Beechview, Bedford Dwellings, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Bon Air, Brookline, California-Kirkbride, Central Northside, Crawford Square, Elliott, Carrick, East Liberty, Esplen, Fineview, Friendship, Eliza Furnace Trail, Garfield, Greenfield, Hays, Larimer, Lincoln Place, Hazelwood, Homestead, Homewood, Lawrenceville, Lower Hill, Manchester, Mexican War Streets, Middle Hill, Mount Oliver (city and borough), Mount Washington (Duquesne Heights), Morningside, North Oakland, New Homestead, Oakland, Oak Hill, Perry Hilltop, Polish Hill, Schenley Heights, Sheraden, Shadyside, Strip District, South Side Flats, Spring Garden, St. Clair, Stanton Heights, Stowe, Summer Hill, Troy Hill, West End, Dormont, Etna, McKees Rocks, Penn Hills, West Homestead and Wilkinsburg.

Other neighborhoods and communities that will participate in the Oct.15-17 Redd Up are Arlington Heights, Banksville, Bellevue, Bluff, Brighton Heights, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, Downtown Pittsburgh, Fox Chapel, Glassport, Observatory Hill, Ohio River Blvd., Pine, South Side Slopes, South Park, South Point Breeze, Spring Hill, Squirrel Hill, Swisshelm Park, Uptown, and Upper St. Clair,

Participating communities are approaching 100.

Next Community Conversation October 20

Clean Pittsburgh Commission has scheduled its next open meeting Wednesday, Oct. 20. Clean Pittsburgh Stewards and others are invited to participate in this conversation about neighborhood problems and challenges on litter cleanups and prevention. The meeting will be held at the CCI Center, 14th & Sarah streets, South Side from 6 to 8 p.m.

"I Litter" awards

Advertising flyers become litter in Shadyside and elsewhere. Businesses and sometimes non-profits are responsible and put their business on Shadyside streets. June's awards are:

Garbagevilles

Garbagevilles are houses, buildings, streets and places that are a mess. Some because of litter; some because of unswept leaves; some because of trash and junk on their property. Some because garbage cans sit in the front of their houses. Many because of the absence of lids on garbage cans and open waste containers. Some of these Shadyside Garbagevilles are always a mess. This is an incomplete list of course.

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.

Pied pipers of pick up

Help us find more "best-of-the-best" litter gitter volunteers roaming our city neighborhood streets. They're all around us. We want to recognize their community service at the next Clean Pittsburgh Commission Meet n' Greet Mixer in March. Send their names, neighborhoods and contact information to boris.weinstein@verizon.net.

One last word

Remember. Rome wasn't redd up in a day either.

Recent Litter-ature

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


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