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Citizens Against Litter

December 2010 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Spring Redd Up dates announced; Fineview first; Meet n' Greet Mixer; Spring Community Conversation set; Not bad for a year's work; Who else is counting?; Recognition keeps coming; California-Kirkbride "untired"; Sledgehammered in Mt. Oliver; Pitt does Wilkinsburg; "Our Redd Up was a success and a lot of fun"; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Nominate a pied piper of pickup; Better late than never; George Will on trash; The last word

Our mission

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

Spring Redd Up dates announced

Litter takes no holiday. Mark your calendar for these dates. Start planning. Coordinating with Keep PA Beautiful and PA CleanWays, the dates for the Spring Redd Up will be Friday, April 15 (Stash the Trash Day), Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17. Earth Day is Friday, April 22 next spring. By scheduling our event earlier, we avoid conflicts with important holidays: Good Friday (April 22), Easter Sunday (April 24), and the First Day of Passover (April 19).

Fineview first

Fineview is the first neighborhood confirming participation in the Spring Redd Up. We want to hear from other neighborhoods and communities in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Beaver County, Washington County, Butler County and Westmoreland County. Leaders, please e-mail Communities have started signing up.

Meet n' Greet Mixer

Clean Pittsburgh Stewards are asked to circle Thursday, March 24 on their calendars. That's the date of the fourth Meet n' Greet Mixer and "Bob" Awards presentations for standout volunteer community service.

Spring Community Conversation set

Clean Pittsburgh Commission has scheduled its spring open meeting for Clean Pittsburgh Stewards on Thursday, May 12 at 6 to 8 p.m. "We're good listeners. Tell us what you think."

Not bad for a year's work

John Engle, chair, issued his 2010 Green Space Year-End Report for Mexican War Streets neighborhood to volunteers, helpers and support groups. John feels the year was "very productive regarding anti-littering, gardening and beautifying activities." The report says well over 245 bags of litter, organic debris and invasive species were collected and hauled away (mostly by Public Works). Monthly activities included the April 24 Earth Day Redd Up with 21 volunteers; the May 1 cleanup with 37 student volunteers from Urban Impact Foundation and the October 16 Redd Up with 65 Pitt Make a Difference Day volunteers and 15 local residents.

Who else is counting?

Pat Hassett of Greenfield reported volunteers there gathered 225 bags of litter in 2010. NEWSLITTER would love to receive more reports.

Recognition keeps coming

Joe Divack, our super volunteer and recipient of the 2010 Clean Pittsburgh Commission Bob Award, has received the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Award as Allegheny County Volunteer of the Year. There were awardees from the other 24 county organizations in the state.

Here's a recent log on what Joe's been up to and reasons why his untiring work is recognized:

"Completed cleanup and clearing a large urban garden plot in the Lincoln-Lemington neighborhood with Ebony Scott. Plot is about 150 by 100 ft...Completed a 7 ton cleanup on Arbor St. illegal dump in Lincoln-Lemington with Allegheny CleanWays and help from neighbors...Beginning a series of cleanups in Elliott...With support from City Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith and neighbors began a dump cleanup in Sheraden...Planning a walking survey in Oakland to identify dumpsites at the request of Oakland Planning and Development Corp...Dump Busters now is scheduling 7 days a week, to maximize opportunities for volunteers...Luci-Jo DiMaggio is interested in getting Duquesne University students involved in Dump Busters, so they could volunteer more times per year."

California-Kirkbride "untired"

Worth noting. Joe Divack's Dump Busters had a field day for three days in Calfornia-Kirkbride with Tom Corcoran. They cleaned out 431 tires from dumps in the neighborhood. Public Works hauled them away--19,000 pounds in all.

Sledgehammered in Mt. Oliver

"The Pitt Make a Difference Day kids were more than hard workers. They arrived on time for donuts and drinks. We had 44 -- 22 for Mt. Oliver Borough and 22 for Mt. Oliver City. They cleaned up streets, illegal dumpsite, sledgehammered a piano and dragged out more than 50 tires, carpeting, construction material, furniture, etc. We could use them next year."

Suzanne Photos

Pitt does Wilkinsburg

"Pitt students assisted the Department of Public Works during last month's Redd Up. They worked on projects that were too overwhelming for the small staff. What would have taken days for the staff to do, took the Pitt students hours to complete. Upon arrival, a small group of students walked directly across the street to our linear park to pick up litter and debris. Others headed to Holmes and Wood Streets parklet that is surrounded by several vacant lots with pre-cut debris. On the way to the Holmes Street location they picked up large amounts of litter. When they arrived at the parklet, they raked up pre-cut grass and weeds, picked up litter, swept dirt and leaves, and loaded debris. They filled an entire truck. Students worked with the Fire Department on other projects as well. Community residents beeped horns and yelled thank you. They were transported to Ardmore Boulevard and redded up the area from Ardmore and Ross Street to Ardmore and Marlboro Street. Afterwards, we all enjoyed hot dogs and cold drinks at the firehouse and reflected on Pitt's Make a Difference Day in Wilkinsburg. They made a big difference in our community."

Gail Hall Mitchell

"Our Redd Up was a success and a lot of fun"

In Homewood, Operation Better Block sent thank you letters to several hundred volunteers. Mr. Litterman was one of them. It said in part, "With your help we were able to clean up several blocks which made an amazing contribution to the revitalization of the community, and, through our effort, we showed many residents that caring about the community can begin with keeping litter off the streets. In addition, a remarkable contribution was made by the Young Preservations Association of Pittsburgh with the clean-up performed at the site of the National Negro Opera Company, located on Apple St."

Brooke Burchette, Jose Diaz and Jerome Jackson

"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. We report fewer and fewer offenders. In November, though, the "going-away-hands-down" litter award winner is Yellow Page phone books. Books were distributed last month. They were everywhere. On porches, near porches, in building doorways and on doorsteps, on sidewalks and streets.

Other awards go to Wheel Deliver and Part Time Income.

Separately, Verizon announced last month that it will stop routine delivery of white pages to every customer's home, unless a customer specifically asks for it. The number to call for your phone book delivery is 1-800-888-8448. The new policy takes effect January 1. It sounds like a good move. Waste and litter will be reduced.


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.

Nominate a pied piper 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

Better late than never

(This Halloween poem is from Bernie Paquette's "Vermont Litter with a Story to Tell" blog, posted on October 12)


or treaters beware;
on Halloween, ghost and goblins
are everywhere.

They make their fare (dinner)
from litter:
candy wrappers
dropped on the ground
by those who do not care.

If you hear
screeching and howling-
it's because
even more than litter
they like litterers (litterbugs)
and they like them rare.

So when trick or treating
on Halloween
do have fun, and do not be
unless you drop litter.

In witch case
we will think of you
when we hear
your howls and screams
as the ghost and goblins
dine on litter,
and litterers rare-
their most favorite fare.

George Will on trash

Syndicated columnist George Will began a recent column, "Voters seem to think Congress is like a weedy lot -- that anything done to it will improve it..."

The 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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