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Citizens Against Litter

September 2010 Newslitter

In this newsletter: What does it takes to clean up a neighborhood?; "I do it too" club; Way to go Sandy; Way to go Christians; Lawn Street care; Record year; Record month; Report mail box graffiti; Started with decorated trash cans; Pirates come through; Stash the Trash volunteers needed; Fall Red Up October 15-17; Next Community Conversation October 20; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Pied pipers of pick up; Just the facts; One last word

What does it take to clean up a neighborhood?

We now have a better idea. Following some terrible crimes that shook residents, the city last month launched a vigorous all-court press to clean up Sheraden, a neighborhood of less than 6,000. They brought in the first team for a whole week. Building inspectors to record code violations. Forty-five Public Works laborers. Managers and pols to perform oversight. 30 trucks, six weed wackers, three street cleaners, a backhoe, paver and roller. Our estimate is they expended from 1,500 to 2,200 man-hours. Reports said they hauled away 600 tons of litter, trash and weeds. Sheraden will also be revisited. It shows what the city can and should be doing in neighborhoods all over the city. Media was all over this one.

"I do it too" club

Most people seeing Mr. Litterman pick up litter couldn't care less. Many people see me and feel guilty because they know they should be doing the same thing. And some people care and don't feel guilty and want me to know it. So when we cross paths they say, "I do it too." Mr. Litterman believes them. There are many thousands of good community citizens enrolled in this "I do it too" club. We have no badges, no cards, no logo-decorated hats and t-shirts and attend no meetings. Some of us even tuck gloves and plastic bags into our pockets and purses and do our thing.

Way to go Sandy

"Sandy Dunlop of Mt. Lebanon, picks up (litter) daily the entire length of Cochran Road as she walks on both sides -- probably one mile at least."

"Mt. Lebanon?" you say. "That community of good citizens and pretty homes?"

"Well Cochran Road is home to Taco Bell, Giant Eagle, Wendy's, Breuggers, two gas stations, etc. whose patrons all contribute to Garbagevilles. Hats off to our Sandy -- a great citizen and a wonderful litter-gitter."

Carol Knox

Way to go Christians

"Banksville Road has officially been adopted for PennDOT's "Adopt a Highway" program by Jubilee Christian School on Washington Road. No children are involved, of course, on this heavily-trafficked highway -- just committed parents. We at BBB (Beautify Banksville) salute and thank them."

Carol Knox

Lawn Street care

Super volunteer Joe Divack counted up the score of cleaning the illegal dump behind Lawn St. (South Oakland) and overlooking the Parkway. "We (Allegheny CleanWays and the Oakcliffe Housing Club) spent four weeks including two Sundays on the project. The dump was about the length of three football fields. We pulled out about 15 tons of litter and trash. George McCain had Public Works haul the stuff away as we brought it up to the street. This was phase one. Oakcliffe Housing has received a grant to replace that mess with trails."

Record year

"We have cleared 34 illegal dumpsites this year. This is an unheard of number and the fall season hasn't even started yet. It's going to be the best year in Allegheny CleanWays' history. Thank you for introducing us to Joe Divack and Derek Green (Stash the Trash) and the encouragement you have given me."

Bob McKinley

Record month

Volunteers in Connect Greenfield tally their activities monthly. July was a banner month -- 44 bags (36.5 white and 7.5 blue). Top pickers -- Kate/Rick with 8, Laura with 6 and Mimi with 5. Great work and thanks to all, so reports neighborhood steward Pat Hassett. The Newslitter will post other monthly neighborhood reports if we know about them.

Report mail box graffiti

Just reminding. 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.

Started with decorated trash cans

From Ambridge. "Our group has added paint to our beautification efforts. It started with 55 gallon steel drums painted decoratively and used as trash cans. They are a huge hit. A month ago, we painted a bench at a bus stop, again, decoratively. The amount of positive feedback and behavior regarding the bench and bus stop is surprising. The bus stop is cleaner. So, we are planning to paint another bench at another bus stop and who knows where we'll stop. So in addition to picking up litter and digging weeds out of cracks in the sidewalk and planting flowers, paint has added a new dimension to our efforts, which is immediate, as permanent as paint can be, and eye popping."

Judy Pugar

Pirates comes through

Hundreds of volunteers in 14 neighborhoods were rewarded for participating in their community Redd ups over the summer. They were guests of the Pirates at PNC Park. The neighborhoods/ groups are: Academy School, Bloomfield, Chartiers, Duquesne University freshmen, Hill District, Perry Hilltop, Polish Hill, Schenley Heights, South Oakland, South Side Slopes, Spring Garden, Troy Hill, Wilkinsburg and Windgap.

Stash the Trash volunteers needed

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.

Fall Redd Up October 15-17

The World Series, Steelers, Pitt and high school football, the Penquins, raking leaves and Redd Up. They're all happening in October. Redd Up participation has exceeded 100 neighborhoods, groups and communities. It's not too late for your community to get involved.

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 of 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.

Pittsburgh neighborhoods/groups and Allegheny County communities getting busloads of Pitt students are: Allentown, Arlington, Beautify Banksville Road, Beechview, Bedford Dwellings, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Bon Air, Brookline, California-Kirkbride, Central Northside, Crawford Square, Dormont, Etna, Elliott, Carrick, East Liberty, Esplen, Fineview, Friendship, Eliza Furnace Trail, Garfield, Greenfield, Hays, Larimer, Lincoln Place, Hazelwood, Homestead, Homewood, Lawrenceville, Lower Hill, Manchester, McKees Rocks, Mexican War Streets, Middle Hill, Mount Oliver (city and borough), Mount Washington (Duquesne Heights), Morningside, North Oakland, New Homestead, Oakland, Oak Hill, Penn Hills, Perry Hilltop, Polish Hill, Schenley Heights, Sharpsburg, Sheraden, Shadyside, South Oakland, Stanton Heights, Strip District, South Side Flats, Spring Garden, St. Clair, Stanton Heights, Stowe, Summer Hill, Troy Hill, West End, West Homestead and Wilkinsburg.

Other neighborhoods and communities that will participate in the fall Redd Up are: Ambridge, Arlington Heights, Baldwin Township, Banksville, Bellevue, Bluff, Brighton Heights, Brightwood, Chartiers, Crafton Heights, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Hills, Downtown Pittsburgh, Fairywood, Fox Chapel, Glassport, Highland Park, Indiana, Lincoln-Lemington, Observatory Hill, Oakwood, Ohio River Blvd., Pine, Regent Square, Ridgemont, South Side Slopes, South Park, South Point Breeze, Spring Hill, Squirrel Hill, Swisshelm Park, Uptown, Upper St. Clair, Westwood, Windgap and Woodland School District.

Next Community Conversation October 20

Clean Pittsburgh Commission has scheduled its next open meeting Wednesday, October 20. Clean Pittsburgh Stewards and others are invited to participate in this conversation about neighborhood problems and challenges on litter cleanups and prevention. The meeting will be held at the CCI Center, 14th & Sarah streets, South Side from 6 to 8 p.m.

"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. August's awards are:

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.

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 in March. Send their names, neighborhoods and contact information to boris.weinstein@verizon.net.

Just the facts

"More and more bottled water is basically the same product that flows from consumer taps, subsidized by taxpayer dollars then poured into an environmentally destructive package and sold for thousands of times its value," so says the Food & Water Watch, consumer advocacy group.

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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