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Citizens Against Litter

April 2011 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Graffiti fighter Volunteer of Year; Mayor announces servePGH; Litter is litter; It's simply litter; Another big mess; Litter challenge; April Redd Ups now at 175; Stash the Trash sign up; Pittsburgh Parks events; Resolve to Redd Up; State of the City Report issued; North Shore Earth Day sweep; Save the date; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; What's a bag snagger?; The last word

Our mission

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

Graffiti fighter Volunteer of Year

Steve Root, founder of South Side Graffiti Watch, was honored as the 2010 "Bob Award" Volunteer of the Year by the Clean Pittsburgh Commission. Root and others received awards for their neighborhood anti-litter and anti-property defacement initiatives at the fourth annual Meet n' Greet Mixer at the Schenley Park Ice Skating Lodge on March 24.

Judy O'Connor, wife of the late Mayor Bob O'Connor and son, Corey, also presented "Bob Awards," named for the Redd Up innovator, to Greenfield as "Neighborhood of the Year", Manchester as "Most Improved Neighborhood" and seven Greater Hill District neighborhood groups as "Most Connected." They are Bedford Dwellings, Crawford Square, Lower Hill, Middle Hill, Oak Hill, Schenley Heights and Uptown. Rocco D'Angelo, former Pittsburgh Postmaster, received a special award for his efforts to "stamp out mail box graffiti" neighborhood-by-neighborhood that began two years ago.

Six "Volunteer of the Year" nominees recognized at the Mixer that honors the work of all 90 neighborhood Clean Pittsburgh Stewards were: Walitta Abdulla (Beltzhoover), Monique Diet (Stanton Heights), Dawn Harder (Carrick), Mary Savage (Homewood), Father Don Ware (South Side Slopes) and Harry Wolfe (Allentown).

Mayor announces servePGH

Mayor Ravenstahl last week announced a new strategy -- calling on volunteers -- to address five city challenges. One of the five is called "Redd Up Zone," asking volunteers to adopt their own little piece of the world. In his plan, businesses and organizations recruit volunteers, commit to a zone and promise to remove litter and maintain it year round. Mr. Litterman says "zone adoption could be the 'nicing on the cake' to what thousands of citizens against litter are doing now in the neighborhoods."

Litter is litter

The Post-Gazette changed the color of those intrusive plastic sleeves from blue to gold (or yellow). Inside are copies of the free Sunday Extra. Alas, litter is still litter...not a horse of a different color. Like clockwork, every Sunday, litter -- in the form of a circulation promotion sample -- is tossed onto Shadyside streets, sidewalks, gutters and grassy places. Targeted residents seem to be picking up more of them and tossing them into their garbage cans. One victimized house for sale at 5513 Howe Street -- spotted by Mr. Litterman -- had three sleeves on the front lawn --two blues and one yellow by mid month.

Shadyside residents have a choice: Keep picking up papers that turn into litter or call/e-mail the Post-Gazette at 412-263-1897 or and say, "Please stop."

It's simply litter

"The promotional papers you (Post-Gazette) are delivering in Shadyside every week are simply litter. The delivery person drops them practically on the street. No one reads them. Each week I have to pick them up for you. Please stop doing this. It is a waste of your money and my time. They are driven on, flushed down the sewer, and generally make you look BAD. This is the opposite of good publicity. You are doing nothing but hurting your paper with this stunt. I've always read the Post-Gazette (16 years!), but plan to cancel my subscription soon."

Shadyside subscriber

Another big mess

"Sunday, March 21, while walking on Kentucky Avenue (in Shadyside), we saw nearly every yard and sidewalk on the northern side of the block covered and strewn with white foam peanuts. As we suspected, they were coming from an open shipping box (plus much more) that had been discarded curbside. The garbage is placed there from an apartment building owned and operated by Deaktor Development. The building fronts on Fifth Avenue at Emerson and its rear is bordered by Kentucky. This is not the first time. Can you suggest a course of action to have remedial actions taken as well as to prevent future occurrences?"

Matt Wholey

Litter challenge

(Below is a Letter to the Editor that appeared recently in the Post-Gazette.)

"Litter is everywhere in the city. I live in the East End and when I walk the four blocks to my children's bus stop, I cannot believe how much trash is strewn on the sidewalks. It's disgusting. Not that we parents don't have enough to do, but I decided once a week to bring a bag with me to the bus stop to pick up trash. Although it takes me an extra two minutes or so, it's good exercise and feels pretty rewarding by the time the bus arrives that my multitasking has resulted in a bag stuffed full of trash.

"So that's the challenge I'm putting out there for you moms and dads who walk to and from the bus stop: Grab a bag, get a little more exercise and keep the multitasking going. It's not the ideal solution to litter (i.e. not to litter in the first place), but at least it can help our beautiful neighborhoods look a little cleaner."

Point Breeze mom

April Redd Ups now at 175

More than 170 city neighborhoods/groups and area communities have said they will participate on or close to the April 15, 16, 17 dates. They are:

Pittsburgh: Alcoa volunteers, Allegheny County Adult Probation, Allegheny CleanWays, Allegheny West, Allentown, Arlington, Banksville, Bedford Dwellings, Banksville Road, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Bon Air, Brighton Heights, Brightwood, Brookline, California-Kirkbride, Carrick, Central Northside, Chartiers, Crafton Heights, Downtown, Duquesne Heights, Duquesne University Spiritan, East Allegheny East Carnegie, East Hills, East Liberty, Elliott, Esplen, Explorers Club, DumpBusters, Fineview, Friends of the Riverfront, Friendship, Garfield, Glen Hazel, Goodwill GoodGuides, Greenfield, Graffiti Watch, Hays, Hazelwood, Highland Park, Homewood, Jail Trail, Jubilee Christian School, Larimer, Lawrenceville, Lincoln-Lemington, Lincoln Place, Lower Hill, Manchester, Mexican War Street, Middle Hill, Morningside, Mount Oliver, Mount Washington, North Oakland, North Point Breeze, North Shore, Northview Heights, New Homestead, Nine-Mile Run Watershed, Oak Hill, Oakland, Oakwood, Observatory Hill, Overbrook (Fairhaven), PA Resources Council, Perry Hilltop, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Job Corps, Pittsburgh Public Schools, PennDOT, Polish Hill, Regent Square, Ridgemont, Schenley Heights, Schenley Park, Sheraden, South Oakland, South Side Flats, South Point Breeze, South Side Slopes, Spring Garden, Spring Hill, Stanton Heights, Stamp Out Mail Box Graffiti, Stash the Trash, Strip District, Squirrel Hill, Summer Hill, Swisshelm Park, The Academy School, Troy Hill, Uptown, Westwood, West End Village and Windgap.

Allegheny County: Aspinwall, Avalon, Braddock, Bellevue, Brentwood, Dormont, Duquesne, Etna, Findlay, Glassport, Heidelberg, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Homestead, Indiana, Monroeville, Mount Lebanon, Mount Oliver, McKees Rocks, Natrona Heights, North Braddock, North Versailles, Oakdale, Pennsbury Village, Penn Hills, Pine, Pitcairn, Port Vue, Robinson, Ross, Scott, Shaler, South Park, Stowe, Tarentum, Turtle Creek, Whitehall, White Oak, Wilkins, Wilkinsburg and Wilmerding.

Beaver County: Aliquippa, Ambridge, Beaver, Brighton, Freedom, Harmony, Midland, Monaca, New Brighton, Potter, South Beaver and Wampum.

Butler County: Butler Twp.

Washington County: California, California/Coal Center, Canonsburg, Chartiers, Cross Creek, McDonald, North Strabane, Peters, Robinson, Washington City and West Pike Run.

Westmoreland County: Smithton.

Communities, groups and individuals in Pittsburgh and Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington and Westmoreland counties can register by contacting or 412-688-9120.

Stash the Trash sign up

Spring is here and with it comes Stash the Trash, a one day school yard litter pickup in Pittsburgh on Friday, April 15. All public, private and parochial schools are encouraged to sign up and participate to help make their communities a little cleaner!

This year marks the 19th year of Stash the Trash. PA Resources Council and the Clean Pittsburgh Commission will provide gloves and trash and recycling bags to schools. In addition, schools will be invited to the Stash the Trash recognition party at PNC Park for a Pirate game.

If you know of a classroom or school that would like to be a part of this great community event, please click here and complete and return the registration form to Sarah Alessio Shea immediately at or call Sarah at 412-488-7490, ext. 236.

Pittsburgh Parks events

You can participate in three volunteer events this month. For more information or to register, visit their website or call 412-682-7275.

Saturday, April 2, at 9 a.m - 1 p.m., Cliffside Park. Help the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy continue its improvements to Cliffside Park in the Hill District.

Saturday, April 16, at 9 a.m - 1:30 p.m., Schenley Plaza. Join the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and many partner organizations for a huge volunteer event covering Schenley Park and the Oakland neighborhood. We'll plant trees, remove trash and invasive plants, control hillside erosion, and wrap up the day with food and live music at Schenley Plaza.

Saturday, April 30, at 9 a.m - 1 pm., Riverview Park Chapel Shelter. Volunteer to help increase the tree population in North Side's Riverview Park by planting trees and installing deer protection.

Resolve to Redd Up

Recently the Dormont Borough Council passed a "Resolve to Redd Up" resolution just in time for the area spring Redd Up (April 15, 16, 17). It's an inspiring read to current and future litter-fighters, and recognizes the importance that citizen volunteers play in improving the quality of life of their communities. We encourage other local governments to borrow the language of the Dormont resolution and tailor it to fit their own community. Together, we can make a difference.

Visit our website to read the complete resolution.

State of the City Report issued

The Clean Pittsburgh Commission issued its fourth annual report last week. The 2010 report was distributed to neighborhood anti-litter stewards at its annual Meet n' Greet Mixer March 24, and to city officials and City Council offices. It details programs about litter prevention, removal and education and programs about greening neighborhoods, eliminating vacant lots, removing graffiti, abandoned building and abandoned cars and recycling.

Read the report at our website.

North Shore Earth Day sweep

Volunteers from Pittsburgh Job Corps, The Academy School and Citizens Against Litter are batting 1.000 for their annual Earth Day litter cleanups with the Pirates. The next one is scheduled for Friday, April 22, when the usually clean North Shore will get a spring touch up.

Save the date

The next Community Conversation -- when Clean Pittsburgh Stewards tell the Clean Pittsburgh Commission what's on their minds -- will be held on Thursday, May 19 at the CCI Center (Sarah and 14th Sts.) from 6 to 8 p.m. Flyers will go out soon. Please save the date.

"I Litter" awards

Advertising flyers and free sampling offers turn into litter in Shadyside and elsewhere. Businesses and sometimes non-profits are responsible and put their business on Shadyside streets. Offenders are becoming few and far between. Let's hope the trend continues. March's award for a third month goes to the Post-Gazette. Others are Little Nipper, Pizzutti's, Yen's Restaurant and Vocelli Pizza.


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.

What's a bag snagger?

Are you frustrated when you see -- but can't reach -- plastic bags wrapped around tree branches? There's a tool to snag them, with attachments that reach as far as 40 feet in the air. It's a neat tool to have if your work is with lots of trees, in parks, on highways, on bike trails, with illegal and legal dumpsites. It's even quite the tool to yank bags from waterways. For more information, visit the Bag Snagger website.

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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