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Citizens Against Litter

June 2010 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; "We're people of action"; More community conversations; Mr. Litterman, All-Star; Shadyside can do more; "He gets people to enjoy litter removal"; Dumps away in Beltzhoover; Stash the Trash volunteers; Kids Against Litter; New Arlington, Manchester, Oak Hill stewards; Pitt Make a Difference Day, October 16; "I Litter" awards; Garbageville; Orr else; 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.

"We're people of action"

We said 2010 would be a year of action and focusing greater attention on cleaning up illegal dumpsites. And we meant it.

At 1:17 p.m. Friday (May 21), an e-mail from Diane Marshall, a Larimer homeowner on Auburn St., arrived. The e-mail was accompanied with many photos of Tyler Way, the alley behind her home, with a deplorable mess. The entire alley was an illegal dumping place -- tires, construction materials, bagged garbage, tree branches, even an abandoned truck. There was plenty of litter too but it was the least of the problem.

Diane's note asked, "Any help getting this cleaned will be appreciated". Within two hours -- not two days, not two months -- Citizens Against Litter was in contact with Diane. So was Allegheny CleanWays and Stash the Trash's super volunteer Joe Divack. Joe surveyed the mess within another two hours. The cleanup was scheduled the week of May 24. At least three neighborhood families said they would join in the cleanup. Diane would contact the police to remove the abandoned truck. Diane promises to keep Tyler Way dump-free and litter-free. Agree "we're people of action"?

More community conversations

The Clean Pittsburgh Commission's successful second open meeting -- called A Community Conversation -- was attended by 30 neighborhoods on May 5. That's one-third of the city's 90 neighborhoods. Speakers represented the Mayor's Office, Public Works, Allegheny CleanWays and Operation Better Block in Homewood. Improving redd ups, cleaning up illegal dumpsites, vacant lots and graffiti, removing abandoned cars, promoting litter education for kids and getting city service departments to respond quicker were subjects highest on neighborhood "want to know" lists. The next meeting will be this fall, probably before the October 15-17 Redd Up.

Mr. Litterman, All-Star

Citizens Against Litter founder Boris Weinstein, more commonly known as Mr. Litterman around these parts, has been nominated for People Magazine's "All-Stars Among Us" award, and is one of the top three finalists from Pittsburgh. The top vote-getter from each major league city will be recognized at the All-Star game and one lucky winner will be featured in People Magazine.

Your vote could make the difference. A vote for Boris is a vote for all of us. Help spread the word about the power of citizen-driven clean ups.

Vote today! Click on "Pittsburgh Pirates", then look for Boris' smiling mug.

Shadyside can do more

(This article was written by Boris Weinstein. It appeared in May's Shadyside Action Coalition Newsletter.)

We're enormously different than Las Vegas. For example, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. What happens in Shadyside goes outside.

Six years ago Citizens Against Litter's experiment with a program in litter removal, reduction and control in a single neighborhood took off. Within two years a network of stewardships took hold in most of the city's 90 neighborhoods. For the past four years an army of 10,000 volunteers -- school kids, college kids, young adults, seniors, renters, property owners, home owners and businesses -- have pitched in for spring and fall Redd Ups and have removed hundreds of tons of litter and trash from city streets, sidewalks, lots, playing fields and parks.

A case can be made that Pittsburgh's bid to become one of America's cleanest cities had its roots in Shadyside. Please, no bows yet. There's much still to do. Check out this starter list.

Can we show the city again that what works well in Shadyside will work in other neighborhoods?

"He gets people to enjoy litter removal"

Citizens Against Litter founder Boris Weinstein received the Neighborhood Leader Award, in memory of the late Mayor Bob O'Connor. Presenting the award at the annual meeting (May 26) of the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group were the Mayor's widow, Judy, and son Corey. A champion of Mayor O'Connor's Redd Up concept, Boris was nominated by Dawn Harder, a litter steward in Carrick, who calls him a "true inspiration" and says he is "infectious" in the way he gets people to enjoy litter removal.

Dumps away in Beltzhoover

"Wanted to let you know that Councilman Bruce Kraus held a clean up in Beltzhoover on Saturday, May 8. We worked in conjunction with the Arlington Adult Probation Center. They were able to provide us with 35 volunteers to clean up listed dumpsites in the PA CleanWays Illegal Dump Survey. We were able to pull out 50 tires from one area. The sites we cleaned were Climax at Montooth, a 2 ton dump, and Proxim Way & Delmont, a 10 ton dump.

"Our next clean up is May 22, and we will be tackling two more active dumpsites in St. Clair and another in Beltzhoover. We have volunteers for June 5 & 19 clean ups as well.

"We look forward to stopping the dumping that has gone on in Beltzhoover far too long. We appreciate the efforts of Public Works in handling the pickup of the trash so quickly".

Matt Hogue
Councilman Bruce Kraus' Office

Stash the Trash volunteers

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.

Kids Against Litter

Sarah Alessio of the Clean Pittsburgh Commission accompanied 400 kids from 15 city schools who attended the Pirates-Reds baseball game last month at PNC Park. It was their reward for participating in Stash the Trash Day on April 23. The Pirates were great hosts.

New Arlington, Manchester Oak Hill stewards

Debra Morgan is the new Clean Pittsburgh Steward for Arlington, taking over for Teri Cataldo. Maureen Neary and Pat Torrey are on the job in Manchester as stewards where they had a very successful Redd Up last month recruiting 150 neighborhood volunteers who collected 3 1/2 tons of litter/trash and 130 tires. Phyllis Ghafoor will answer the call in Hill District's Oak Hill.

Pitt Make a Difference Day October 16

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.

Neighborhoods/groups already 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, Eliza Furnace Trail, Garfield, Greenfield, Hays, Larimer, Lincoln Place, New Homestead, Hazelwood, Homestead, Homewood, Lawrenceville, Lower Hill, Manchester, Mexican War Streets, Middle Hill, Mount Oliver (city and borough), Mount Washington, North Oakland, Oakland, Oak Hill, Perry Hilltop, Polish Hill, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, St. Clair, Strip District, South Side Flats, Spring Garden, Stanton Heights, Summer Hill, Troy Hill, West End, Dormont, Etna, McKees Rocks, Penn Hills, West Homestead and Wilkinsburg.

"I Litter" awards

Advertising flyers become litter in Shadyside and elsewhere. Businesses/groups are responsible and put their business on Shadyside streets. Only one this month. Hope it stays that way.

Garbagevilles

Orr else

The former vacant Orr Flower Shop building at 731 N. Aiken Ave. at Walnut is no longer a Garbageville. The new owners did considerable renovation to the building including landscaping the front.

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. 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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