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Citizens Against Litter

May 2010 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; The lady in Stanton Heights; Eyewitness to craziness; Dumps are targets; Stash the Trash volunteers; Thanks, every buddy; Pirates/volunteers sweep North Shore; Welcome Clean Pittsburgh Stewards; Haiti's no Pittsburgh; Kudos from Egypt and Pakistan; Mt. Washington adopts zone defense; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Inspiring intersection; So what else is new?; Bet you didn't know; One last word

Our mission

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

The lady in Stanton Heights

For some time I have been hearing about "a lady in Stanton Heights who picks up litter every day." A person after my own heart. A person very much like Ann Rose who does the same thing in Squirrel Hill. There are others like them that I'd love to know about because they are true inspirations for all of us.

I met Monique Diet of Stanton Heights on the phone last week. A mutual friend gave her my card and she called me. What a woman! She's been picking up litter daily for 30 years -- the last 20 in Stanton Heights, Morningside and Lawrenceville. She walks every day. She's out about an hour and collects a bag of litter. Every two weeks there are 14 bags for garbage men to take away. "When I walk into East Liberty," Monique told me, "I pick up 4 or 5 bags."

She's a real "Pied Piper of Pick Up." A very special person.

Eyewitness to craziness

I saw it with my own eyes last Tuesday. But I've seen it before and often. A street sweeper truck traveling the two blocks of Ellsworth Avenue from Morewood to Amberson. The primary purpose of the street sweeper was to clean the street gutter but cars were illegally parked bumper-to-bumper the entire length. This meant the sweeper could not and did not sweep the gutter. Believe me, Ellsworth Avenue is not the only street where this scene is repeated. In many places, illegally parked cars are not cleared. Cars are not ticketed. Streets are not cleaned. Time wasted, wear and tear on equipment and waste of money and man hours must be huge. I think we need a new plan.

Dumps are targets

Dump destroyer Derek Green in his own words: "Stash the Trash has had an amazing start in 2010. We are now working with 25 volunteers. With all the recent press and (receiving) a Bob Award, things are really looking up for 2010. Our relationship with Public Works is outstanding. We have had the help of (super volunteer) Joe Divack and some other eager folks as well. We began focusing on the Greenfield Area in the winter and since then we have eliminated and adopted eight of 20 dumps in Greenfield: Winterburn Street, Braywood Way, Flemington Street, Montiero Street, Ibex Way, Moose Way, Greenfield Avenue and Lydia Street, and Wasser Way. These dumps are clean now. In addition, we continue to do work in Duck Hollow (Squirrel Hill) and have organized a large scale clean up along Brown's Hill Road (Squirrel Hill) that is already underway."

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.

Thanks, every buddy

There's no taking for granted the community service of thousands of men, women and kids in several hundred neighborhoods and communities who participated in Redd Up events in Pittsburgh and five counties. Citizens Against Litter thanks every buddy for what they've done to make our little part of the world a little cleaner in March and April clean ups and those happening in May.

The 20 to 25% feedback we are receiving doesn't give us an exact report card. Our educated guess is that upwards of 15,000 volunteers collected several hundred tons of litter from highways, parks, other grassy places, roads, streets and sidewalks. They removed everyday litter from business districts and schoolyards; from towns and townships; from walking trails and bike trails; from rivers and streams. They removed litter, hundreds of tires, teevees, appliances, grocery carts and discarded construction materials from illegal dumps.

Again we figure that 15,000 volunteers, spending an average three hours of their time picking up litter at a volunteer's rate of $20 an hour, adds up to almost $1 million bucks. Not bad for a day's work.

I'd say the Pittsburgh area is doing itself proud this spring as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the kickoff of World Environment Day, our own Redd Up and Stash the Trash Days. One more time. Thanks every buddy for cleanups in 250 city neighborhoods and communities:


Allegheny CleanWays, Allegheny Courts Day Probation, Allegheny West, Allentown, Arlington, Arlington Heights,Banksville, Banksville Road Corridor, Bedford Dwellings, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Bon Air, Bluff, Brighton Heights, Brightwood (Marshall-Shadeland), Brookline, California-Kirkbride, Carrick, Central Northside, Chartiers City, Crafton Heights, Crawford Square, Downtown, Duquesne Heights Duquesne University Evergreen, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Hills, Elliott, Esplen, Explorers Club, Fineview, Friendship, Friends of the Riverfront (Jail Trail), Garfield, Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Harriet Tubman Terrance Tenant Council, Hays, Hazelwood, Highland Park, Homewood, Larimer, Lawrenceville, Lincoln-Lemington, Lincoln Place, Lower Hill, Manchester, Middle Hill, Morningside, Mount Washington, Mount Oliver, Mexican War Streets, New Homestead, North Point Breeze, Nine Mile Run Watershed, North Shore (Pirates), Oakland, Observatory Hill, Overbrook (Fairhaven), Park Place, Perry Hilltop, PA Resources Council, Pittsburgh Job Corps, Pittsburgh Parks (Panther Hollow), Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Polish Hill, Ridgemont, Regent Square, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, Sheraden, Squirrel Hill, South Point Breeze, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, Spring Garden/ Deutschtown, Spring Hill-City View, Stanton Heights, Stash the Trash, Strip District, Swisshelm Park, The Academy Schools, Troy Hill, Uptown, West End Village, Westwood and Windgap.

Allegheny County:

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

Beaver County:

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

Butler County:

Cranberry, Butler City, Butler Twp., Center, Parker, Winfield and Washington.

Washington County:

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

Westmoreland County:

Allegheny, Bovard, Delmont, Derry, Donegal, Fairfield, Greensburg, Hempfield, Ligonier, Lower Burrell, Loyalhanna, New Alexandria, New Kensington, Smithton, Unity, West Newton and Youngwood.

Pirates/volunteers sweep North Shore

For the second year, Citizens Against Litter teamed up with the Pirates for an Earth Day Redd Up on April 22. Participating were 30 volunteers from the Pittsburgh Job Corps and The Academy Schools. Volunteers attended the Pirates-Brewers game following the Redd Up as guest of the Pirates.

Welcome Clean Pittsburgh Stewards

Kathie Scrabis has stepped forward to become the first steward of the North Oakland neighborhood...Kathryn Vargas takes over for Grady Roberts Jr. in Garfield...Maureen Neary is the new litter leader in Manchester...Sadly, though, we lose Jared Delaney in Regent Square. The Delaneys have moved to Morningside.

Haiti's no Pittsburgh

"I lived in Pittsburgh for 14 years and still own a home in East Liberty. I now live in Haiti doing restoration. I just wanted to let you know that I saw in a recent e-mail that you continue to your work against litter. YOU GO! Haiti has not had the privilege of any trash or waste management and it's hard to see such a beautiful place covered in trash. I can't help clean up like I used to with my four kids (find a bag, fill a bag) but we are doing what we can here and I am glad to know you are doing what you can and more there"

Nicole Carlin

Kudos from Egypt and Pakistan

Three Global Pittsburgh guests from Egypt and Pakistan, here to learn more about volunteerism, observed a neighborhood Redd Up on the North Shore on Earth Day. Boris Weinstein and Patty Chavez of Public Works met with them. Observers witnessed the sign in, distribution of gloves and bags and discussion of cleanup targets and litter bag collection points.

Mt. Washington adopts zone defense

Mt. Washington Community Development Corp. has introduced a zone concept for the neighborhood. With an eye to using the zone approach to tackle litter cleanup and control issues block-by-block, the community hopes to attract zone leaders to mobilize volunteers for various projects such as graffiti removal, illegal dump identification and crime prevention.

"I Litter" awards

Advertising flyers become litter in Shadyside and elsewhere. Businesses/groups are responsible and put their business on Shadyside streets. The mess increases with nicer weather.


April's Dirtiest Place Award in Shadyside goes to Victoria's Secret on Walnut Street. The rear of the store wins hands down. Actually, Victoria's Secret could have won this dirty award for other months because it's been that way for a long time. Let's see if things improve now that their secret is out.

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.

Inspiring intersection

Have you been by the intersection of Maryland and Elmer lately? Major rehabbing at 702 Maryland and 688 Maryland houses has turned these properties into real lookers. New porches, scrubbed brick exteriors, new landscaping, new cement walks, upgraded garages. And, of course, the absence of litter and yard clutter on the properties.

So what else is new?

The top five marine debris items found in the 2009 International Coastal Cleanup are the same we find on Pittsburgh streets: cigarette and cigarette filters, plastic bags, food wrappers/containers, caps and lids and plastic bottles. One hundred and eight countries were involved in the litter survey. The United States yielded by far the most debris. No surprise there either.

Bet you didn't know

A regular litter gitter from Penn Hills is soon to become a dealer at Rivers Casino. While in training she promotes community cleanups to her new friends during breaks. "Most never thought to carry a small bag to clean up during walks in their community," she said. "It's the little things that add up to big changes."

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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