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Citizens Against Litter

November 2010 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Bridge work; August in Oakland; How green is Greenfield?; High praise for Pitt student volunteers; Mt. Washington's Emerald View Park; Manchester redded up like never before; Redd Up a success; South Park report; Community Conversation gabfest; Report mail box graffiti ; Stash the Trash volunteers needed; Graffiti Watch volunteers needed; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Nominate a pied piper of pick up; Advance planning; Light on blight; The last word

Our mission

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

Bridge work

Lifestone Church and Green N'at undertook a major project last month. With South Side Graffiti Watch, volunteers tackled the Birmingham Bridge. They painted over graffiti and redded up under the bridge. We just condensed a weekend of work and sweat into 2 1/2 sentences. How unfair.

August in Oakland

As it does every year, Oakland Planning and Development Corp. led a cleanup August 16-23 on the streets of Oakland. Volunteers filled waste containers with over 30 tons of litter and trash, reports OPDC's Ryan O'Donnell.

How green is Greenfield?

A report from Derek Green of Stash the Trash on successful illegal dumpsite cleanups in Greenfield:

"Boundary Street -- We cleaned about a truck and a half of what looked like mainly roofing debris. The site is now clear. There are a few residents on the street that have what appears to be dumping on their property, but nothing left on public/city property which mean our work there is done.

"Ivondale Street -- This is a small dead-end street with probably only 15 houses left on it. Most large debris was found here rather than litter. We found 2 toilets, 13 tires, and about a truck full of other random things.

"Whitaker Street -- Not much debris and litter here. The neighbors on this small street have tried to turn around the problem. We filled about 4 bags of garbage and small debris, and we were done.

"Panther Hollow Soccer Field -- This site was mostly cleaned before we even got there. Only about a half pick-up truck worth of debris. It appears Public Works did some preventative maintenance there this summer, dropping large stones over the area that trucks used to enter and dump.

"On the October 16 Redd Up weekend, many students from Pitt helped us eliminate the remaining sites on the Allegheny CleanWays survey. I think this makes a huge statement as to what can be accomplished, especially given Greenfield's alarming numbers. The sites targeted for the Redd-up were Haworth Road, Bigelow Overlook, Yoder/Tunstall, Saline lot, Saline Street Site 1 and Saline Street Site 2."

What's happening in South Oakland?

Plenty. Mr. Letterman spoke to Dave Panasiuk of the Oakville Housing Club and a Clean Pittsburgh Steward. He told me that with the help of Pitt's Community Relations Department, namely John Wilds and Steve Zupcic, "we've had tons of help from volunteers. They've done considerable work in redding up litter from South Oakland streets, the neighborhood overlook, the greenway and community gardens." Singled out are these groups: Pitt Katz Graduate School of Business, Pitt Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh Promise, United Way Day of Caring, Pitt Make A Difference Day, Pitt fraternities and sororities Adopt-a-Block programs and another Pitt group, "Living and Learning." It takes a lot of volunteers to keep a village clean.

High praise for Pitt student volunteers

"Thank you SO much for including us once again in the 2010 PMADD. Pitt is to be commended on many levels. First, to commit to send so many student volunteers throughout the city and area to represent their school is awesome. The group we had (on Banksville Rd.) this year far exceeded our expectations, from the bus driver to John and Heidi the adult supervisors, to the wonderful young people themselves. It was a terrific learning experience on all of our parts. We learned enthusiasm, a sense of adventure and sense of "wanting to give back" from the kids, and, hopefully, they learned some gardening techniques and the fact that volunteers come in all sizes and ages. Every adult supervisor raved about the students they worked with, so it was a totally unique and satisfying experience. The kids worked extremely hard at four very prominent gardens along Banksville Rd., a very busy highway.

"Thanks to Pitt and everyone who planned the event and to all of those who participated. I'm sure Blitz on Banksville wasn't alone in experiencing a beautiful fall day with 43 representatives from Pitt who made our world a little better today."

Carol Knox, Blitz on Banksville and Jubilee Christian School

Mt. Washington's Emerald View Park

Kathryn Hunninen reported on Pitt volunteer activity during the Redd Up:

"We pulled about 5 tons of trash out the woods in Emerald View Park. Stuff like plastic kiddie pools, plastic pool linings, three tarps, carpet, 15 tires, tons of metal, old bicycles, toys, lots of glass, concrete slab, mattresses, ceramic toilets, car seats, 1/2 a car, chairs, a couch, etc.

"We also worked on trail construction in the same area (needed to clean up the area so the trail doesn't go through a dumpsite). About 10 students and 15 other volunteers worked on blazing trail and clearing vines in what will be a new trail in the future 19-mile trail system in Emerald View Park. It was fantastic!"

Manchester redded up like never before

"WOW! Did we ever get a lot of debris and weeds out of our neighborhood with those Pitt students. Incredible! All major streets and most of the alleys are free from litter. Two community gardens were cleared and cropped. They look fantastic. Two lots filled with weeds chest high were cleared. We will now be able to start planning more gardens and green space for next spring. A huge eyesore that was along one of the few entries and exits of our neighborhood was completely cleaned of 5 foot tall weeds and litter. We no longer need to be ashamed of our back entry off California Ave. And most of all it was great for our children to have young adults/ students to look up to. It was a fantastic example."

Pat Torrey

Redd Up a success

Thanks to citizen volunteers -- like many of you -- in Pittsburgh neighborhoods and Allegheny County communities the October Redd Up who cleared out a lot of litter and trash and made thousands of us very happy campers. Is it all gone, never to reappear? Dreamer. We know fresh litter will be back. And we'll be back attacking it. We know for certain more than a hundred communities took part. We also know dozens and dozens of other communities not registered with Citizens Against Litter were engaged in the weekend cleanup. An educated guess is that upwards of 10,000 or 15,000 volunteers participated and that public works departments followed the volunteers and hauled away tons and tons. Probably in excess of 100 tons.

Specific thanks to Pitt Make a Difference Day, Pittsburgh schools and administrators, Allegheny CleanWays, PA. Resources Council, PennDOT and Pittsburgh Public Works for their help with supplies for volunteers. Thanks to neighborhood councils, special groups, borough and township officials for all that they do.

South Park report

"To our South Park proud volunteers -- thank you for "chipping in" to clear our roadsides of litter. We had 71 volunteers and collected 111 bags and two tires. For those that couldn't chip in, please join us in the spring for our next cleanup or let me know if you can volunteer to adopt a section of road near your home that you can care for throughout the year.

"Once again, you all came through in keeping South Park beautiful and a great place to live. If you see something suspicious, littering or dumping call 412-473-3056 to report. I appreciate your volunteerism."

Dave Buchewicz

Community Conversation gabfest

Clean Pittsburgh Stewards from more than 30 neighborhoods attended the Community Conversation open meeting last month. They heard presentations by Kathryn Hunninen of Mt. Washington on their litter-related Wild Art Wild Trails Festival and Nicole Moga of Troy Hill on their litter/literacy-related Summerfest Festival. Councilwoman Theresa Kail Smith spoke about the Sheraden cleanup and Rebecca Kottler-Wein, the city's new Chief Service Officer, voiced confidence that her work will benefit anti-litter efforts to attract more volunteers.

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 is currently addressing graffiti and repairs to boxes in Carrick/Mt. Oliver, Strip District, Bloomfield/Friendship, Oakland and South Side. However, the Postmaster is interested in hearing about mail box graffiti in all city neighborhoods.

Stash the Trash volunteers needed

Check out the Stash the Trash web site at http://www.stashthetrash.org. Sign 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."

Graffiti Watch volunteers needed

Graffiti Watch on the South Side has provided a wonderful service for years. They remove graffiti tags. They need new volunteers. Contact Steve Root at graffitiwatch@gmail.com. Phone: 412-496-2272. Don't waste your time on the sidelines. Don't talk about the graffiti problem. Do something about it.

"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.

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.

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 boris.weinstein@verizon.net.

Advance planning

How's this for advance planning? Knoxville is already signed up to get a busload of Pitt student volunteers for Pitt Make a Difference Day next October 2011. Also, every community involved with Pitt last month said "put us on the list" for 2011.

Light on blight

At the Blight Summit at Point Park University October 19, overdue changes in antiquated state laws may give local governments a powerful tool box to deal with blight and abandoned properties. Most of what was unveiled is new and untested.

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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