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Citizens Against Litter

February 2010 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Snow job; We need a jazzy name; Save the date; Pick It Up PA Days; Spring Redd Up sign-ins top 125; Volunteer help; Illegal dumpsite focus; Wild Art Wild Trails; Anti-litter, not anti-smoking; "I Litter "awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; 5 cents make sense; About graffiti; Go green; Fishy tale

Our mission

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

Snow job

Forget green. It's the white stuff that's responsible for the appearance of less litter on our streets and sidewalks and covering up a lot of sins.

We need a jazzy name

We know what they call people who litter. They're either litterers or litterbugs. But what should we call the good guys? How about LITTER RIDDERS or REDDERS? I think those are better choices than anti-litterers, litter fighters or picker-uppers. Let's reserve litter retrievers for dog owners. I'm open to your suggestion. Here's one that just came in: litter carriers.

Save the date

E-mail and snail mail went out last month to neighborhood Clean Pittsburgh Stewards -- the city's finest and cleanest -- for the third annual Meet and Greet Mixer, an evening of camaraderie and networking. The mixer will be held Thursday, March 25 at the Schenley Park Ice Skating Rink lodge. Highlight of the evening will be volunteer recognition. Judy O'Connor, wife of our late Mayor Bob O'Connor, and son Corey will hand out Bob Awards for neighborhoods, groups and individuals.

Pick It Up PA Days

The official dates for Pick It Up PA Days have been tweaked to include Earth Day. The dates are April 17 through May 1. Pick It Up PA Days is the spring event sponsored by The Great American Cleanup of PA, the name you may be more familiar with.

Spring Redd Up sign-ins top 125

Leaders and community councils in more than 80 city neighborhoods say they will participate in the spring Earth Day Redd Up on Saturday, April 17 or April 23-25 weekend. Contact with communities in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Washington counties was stepped up this month. "Our goal is for participation of all 90 city neighborhoods and another 100 communities in the region," said Citizens Against Litter. "This year is extra special because Pittsburgh will be the North American host city for the United Nation-sponsored World Environment Day, kicking off on Earth Day (40th year) and continuing for six weeks until June 5."

Participating is:

PITTSBURGH: Allegheny Courts Day Probation, Allegheny West, Allentown, Arlington, Arlington Heights, Banksville Road Corridor, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Bon Air, Brighton Heights, Brightwood, Brookline, California-Kirkbride, Carrick, Central Northside, Chartiers, Crafton Heights, Downtown, Duquesne Heights, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Hills, Elliott, Esplen, Fineview, Friendship, Friends of the Riverfront (Jail Trail), Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Harriet Tubman Terrance Tenant Council, Hays, Hazelwood, Highland Park, Homewood, Larimer, Lawrenceville, Lincoln-Larimer, Lincoln Place, Lower Hill, Middle Hill, Morningside, Mount Washington, Mount Oliver, Mexican War Streets, New Homestead, North Point Breeze, North Shore (Pirates), Oakland, Observatory Hill, Overbrook (Fairhaven), Perry Hilltop, Pittsburgh Job Corps, Polish Hill, Ridgemont, Regent Square, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, Sheraden, Squirrel Hill, South Point Breeze, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, Spring Garden, Spring Hill, Stanton Heights, Strip District, Swisshelm Park, The Academy System, Troy Hill, Uptown, West End Village, Westwood and Windgap.

ALLEGHENY COUNTY: Dormont, Duquesne, Etna, Findlay, Heidelberg, Homestead, Millvale, McKees Rocks, Monroeville, Mount Lebanon, Mount Oliver, Natrona Heights, North Fayette, Penn Hills, Pitcairn, Robinson, Ross, Shaler, South Park, Stowe, West Homestead, Wilkins and Wilkinsburg.

BEAVER COUNTY: Beaver, Center, Industry, New Brighton.

WASHINGTON COUNTY: Coal Center, Robinson.

For information and to register your community contact or call 412-688-9120.

Volunteer help

Need volunteers for your neighborhood Redd Up? We all do. Look to Pittsburgh Cares. Visit their website, Complete the volunteer request form for your group's effort in April. Phone number for information is 412-471-2114.

Illegal dumpsite attention

Expect to hear about more attention to eliminate illegal dumpsites in the city this year. A recent survey by PA CleanWays said there are almost 300 identified illegal sites in Pittsburgh. Word is that citizen groups will be working with Allegheny CleanWays in Greenfield, Homewood, West End, Mt. Oliver, East End, Squirrel Hill, and Mt. Washington. Let's hear from other neighborhoods about their plans.

Wild Art Wild Trails

Coordinators for the second annual Wild Art Wild Trails Event are seeking members to serve on the planning committee. Wild Art Wild Trails seeks to raise awareness for illegal dumping, inspire artists to explore "found object" art, and encourages residents from all over the city to explore outdoor activities in the Grand View Scenic Byway Park (GVSBP), Pittsburgh's fifth regional park.

Wild Art Wild Trails begins with a volunteer clean up in a challenged neighborhood in one of the GVSBP anchor parks, Mt Washington Park. This area served historically as a dumpsite. The dumpsite needs to be cleaned up to establish a healthy park ecosystem and an environment that is safe for park users. However, one can't help but acknowledge that these sites are brimming with artifacts. From washing machines, to old bicycle parts, to beer cans and entire cars, these dumpsites act as repositories of historic items from life in Pittsburgh over the past five or more decades. To simply dredge a hillside and cart all the items to another dump seems a mindless endeavor especially given the opportunity this presents to learn and celebrate.

The general idea is that while there are many clean ups throughout Pittsburgh each year and the method of creating artistic pieces from discarded items is certainly not new, uniting these activities in a community celebration of art and urban green space is unique. Both of these activities -- park clean ups and art-from-trash -- are of high interest to city residents, and bringing them together will allow Pittsburghers with a variety of interests to converge and celebrate. We intend the symbolism to be explicit: the renaissance of formerly industrialized and degraded land into the Grand View Scenic Byway Park is echoed by the process of birthing a piece of art from objects discarded in the park.

Wild Art Wild Trails will take place July 30-August 1, and will include two dumpsite clean-up days during which artists will select materials and work on pieces. The event culminates with a Sunday afternoon festival to celebrate the community art, park use as part of a healthy, active lifestyle, and green space stewardship. Advisory committee commitment includes monthly meetings February through May, two meetings a month in each of June and July, and e-mail correspondence February through August. Committee members are encouraged to volunteer during Wild Art Wild Trails. Contact Rebekah Keating at 412-481-3220, Ext. 200 or

Committee members may also serve as festival artists.

If interested, please respond with your name, contact information, and a few sentences that speak to why you would like to be involved. The first meeting will be held Monday February 8, at 6 p.m.

Anti-litter, not anti-smoking


A program that aims to curb cigarette trash is being launched in Fargo.

The "Don't Flick It" public awareness campaign (began January 19) encourages smokers to dispose of their cigarette butts in receptacles rather than on the ground. Norm Robinson's advertising company came up with the campaign. He plans to market it to cities around the country. Robinson and City Commission Mike Williams stress that it's not an anti-smoking campaign but rather an anti-litter effort.

"I Litter" awards

Advertising flyers become litter in Shadyside and elsewhere. Businesses/groups are responsible and put their business on Shadyside streets last month. The list is getting shorter and we love it for whatever reasons. No awards in January.


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.

5 cents make sense

D.C. is the first city in the nation to levy a 5 cent charge on each plastic bag consumers takes out of a supermarket. The law took effect January 1 -- an effort to discourage the use of plastic bags and encourage the use of reusable ones.

D.C. distributed 122,000 reusable bags free to the elderly and low-income families. Evidence is plastic bags littering streets, clinging to tree branches, power lines, polluting rivers and clogging storm drains. It will be the consumers who bear the brunt of clean up costs. Do you think Pittsburgh is ready for a program like this?

About graffiti

Picked up this info from a recent column by Mike Seate in the Pittsburgh Trib: It costs $300 to remove the first square foot of graffiti; $50 more for each additional square foot; and $7,000 to clean graffiti from those bus-size murals.

Go green

In Westfield, Mass., 120 eighth-graders drew up proposals to redesign their school's classrooms, auditorium, cafeteria, library, gymnasium, and the entry hallway stairwell to be green.

Fishy tale

"After Jane combs the scraggly hair of Mr. Rochester and tells him, 'There, sir, you are redd up and made decent'"

"When I read this quote on "redd up" from Jane Eyre," said Keith Knecht of Brookline," being a lifelong fisherman I remembered another use of the expression "redd".

"Certain fish, most notably those in the sunfish family (i.e. bass and bluegills) make "redds" in the shallows during the spring spawning season. The male works very hard to clean out the silt and debris so that the female's eggs can be deposited on clean gravel, which he dutifully guards from intruders. I'm sure this term came from the fish cleaning up an area to mate."

Recent Litter-ature

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

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