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Citizens Against Litter

January 2011 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Seventh year starts now; Leadership recognition; Volunteering's good many ways; DumpBusters featured on TV; "Joe Divack Day"; 100 already in Spring Redd Up; Fisher-Green and Hogue honored; Two stewards pass on; "Let's Tackle Recycling" involves many; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; The last word

Our mission

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

Seventh year starts now

It seems like yesterday that Citizens Against Litter was launched in 2004. Shortly afterwards came the NEWSLITTER, our mouthpiece, starting its seventh year with this issue. There have been 66 monthly newsletters over that stretch. Many thanks to Jake Krohn, formerly of Shadyside and a resident now of Wahpeton, North Dakota. Between Jake and me we get our newsletters to you (mostly) on time.

Leadership recognition

Boris Weinstein, founder of Citizens Against Litter, has been nominated for the Leadership Award for the Fourth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership and Diversity Awards. The awards ceremony on January 14 is hosted by Coro Pittsburgh. The award will be given to an individual who exemplifies outstanding leadership results in business, non-profits or government. Wow!

Volunteering's good many ways

Volunteering is good for the soul. Know what else? People who help others tend to live longer, especially adults 65 and older. This according to an article in last month's U.S. News & World Report. "Volunteers reap physical and emotional benefits including less stress and depression and longer lives," the article said. Bottom line: "It's good to be good." Citizens Against Litter needs more volunteers. We'll connect them with leaders in their neighborhoods and communities. Contact boris.weinstein@verizon.net.

DumpBusters featured on TV

Joe Divack and his band of 11 DumpBuster volunteers were featured on WTAE-TV news last month. DumpBusters is the rapid response team that is doing its part to eliminate dumping and littering -- one dumpsite at a time. That's a tall order because there are hundreds of illegal dumps in the city. In six months DumpBusters has removed more than 25 tons of trash, including 431 tires from California-Kirkbride. Their work, though, only scratches the surface.

Some quotes from the news show interview: "All this stuff here bothers me," said Joe. "This is not the right way to live. So I want to clean it up." Said Bailey Yousem, a volunteer, "It's seeing how much of an improvement that one single person, or a group of three people, can do in a day. The biggest dumpers are landscapers and contractors who dump illegally," said the report.

Other Rapid Responder case histories

Two cases. Stanton Heights volunteer Monique Diet reported a multiple tire dumping incident in Lawrenceville. Within days, Allegheny CleanWays Rapid Responders visited the site and removed 21 tires PLUS 16 35-gallon bags of debris, 150 lb. of metal, and an additional 2,000 lb of remodelers' debris (mostly wrecked lumber).

In the other case, a Mexican War Street resident overheard Joe Divack and Tom Corcoran talking about their recent tire cleanup in California-Kirkbride. She approached them about her own neighborhood illegal dumpsite headache on Reddour St. That very day Divack and the neighbor went to work, clearing two lots of 11,000 pounds of material mostly dumped by landscapers and remodeling contractors.

"Joe Divack Day"

Joe Divack's community service work was recognized Dec. 28 with a proclamation from City Council. Councilwoman Theresa Smith sponsored the proclamation noting that Squirrel Hill resident Divack, founder of DumpBusters, began his after retirement "career" removing litter and debris from a cemetery and nearby illegal dump in Sheraden (in her district). Since then he's been clearing dumps -- one and two dumps at a time -- all over the city. Pittsburgh's lucky to have him and so many others who enjoy keeping our city clean. Read below and you'll see what we mean.

100 already in Spring Redd Up

The Spring Redd Up is four months away. More than 100 city neighborhoods/ groups and area communities have said they will participate on or close to the April 15-17 dates. They are:

Pittsburgh -- Alcoa volunteers, Allegheny CleanWays, Allentown, Arlington, Bedford Dwellings, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Brighton Heights, Califronia-Kirkbride, Carrick, Central Northside, Chartiers, Crafton Heights, Downtown, Duquesne Heights, East Allegheny East Carnegie, East Hills, Elliott, Esplen, DumpBusters, Fineview, Friends of the Riverfront, Garfield, Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Hazelwood, Highland Park, Homewood, Jail Trail, Larimer, Lawrenceville, Lincoln-Lemington, Lower Hill, Manchester, Mexican War Street, Middle Hill, North Oakland, North Point Breeze, North Shore, Oak Hill, Oakland, Oakwood, PA Resources Council, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Job Corps, Pittsburgh Public Schools, PennDOT, Polish Hill, Ridgemont, Schenley Heights, Sheraden, South Oakland, Observatory Hill, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, Spring Garden, Spring Hill, Stanton Heights, Stamp Out Mail Graffiti, Stash the Trash, Strip District, Squirrel Hill, Swisshelm Park, The Academy School, Troy Hill, Uptown, Westwood, West End Village and Windgap.

Allegheny County -- Brentwood, Dormont, Etna, Glassport, Mount Oliver, Natrona Heights, Homestead, McKees Rocks, Penn Hills, Pine, Ross, South Park, Stowe, Tarentum, Wilkins and Wilkinsburg.

Communities, groups and individuals in the city and Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington and Westmoreland counties can register by contacting boris.weinstein@verizon.net or 412-688-9120.

Fisher-Green and Hogue honored

One of Homewood's hardest working citizens is Kiva Fisher-Green. She's been a Clean Pittsburgh Steward for years and is one of the founders of the Homewood-Squirrel Hill-Point Breeze Redd Up Coalition. She's been named a Jefferson Award recipient this year for her work with Homewood Children Village, Operation Better Block, Bible Center Church, Rosedale Block Cluster, Tacoma Street Block Association, and other community groups.

Also honored as a Jefferson Award recipient is Matt Hogue, a Clean Pittsburgh Steward from West End-Elliott and a staffer with City Councilman Bruce Kraus. Of Matt you could say, "He never came across an illegal dumpsite he didn't want to clean up."

Two stewards pass on

We heard sad news last month. Friends told us Karen Kirchner of Esplen and Mike Coleman of Allegheny West passed away recently. Both served their communities well and were helpful to make their neighborhoods litter free.

"Let's Tackle Recycling" involves many

Below are two Newslitter regular features about businesses and homeowners who create litter. The reverse of that is the "Let's Tackle Recycling" initiative now at Steeler games to assist tailgaters clean up after themselves and recycle beer cans. The idea was the brainchild of Pittsburgh Manchester PreK-8 students. Their teacher brought in PA Resources Council, Alcoa Foundation, the Steelers, Alco Parking, Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church and the Public Works Recycling Department.

"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. Offenders are becoming few and far between. Let's hope the trend continues.

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.

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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