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Citizens Against Litter

March 2011 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Litter delivered free; Troy Hill checks in; Bring on the litter; Paint your stoop; Meet n' Greet sponsors; Redd Up count approaches 150; "Stash the Trash" sign up; Duck Hollow dump "dumped"; Pittsburgh Parks event; Brentwood's bigger and better; Resolve to Redd Up; Penn Hills leader recognized; Inquiry from Boston; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Italy bans plastic bags; The last word

Our mission

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

Litter delivered free

We have a serious litter problem in Shadyside. It could be with us all year. Since January 9, in a circulation-building promotion, the Post-Gazette has been tossing free editions of the Sunday Extra in blue plastic sleeves. Problem is, Mr. Letterman has spotted and picked up hundreds of these papers -- a source of litter -- on sidewalks, gutters, streets, steps and grassy places on seven streets. It's more widespread than this.

Shadyside residents: If you want this stopped, do as Mr. Litterman did. Complain with a call or e-mail to PG's Tom O'Boyle, circulation marketing manager, at 412-263-1897 or toboyle@post-gazette.com. Others: This could be coming to your neighborhood if not there already. Suggest you call or e-mail also. It's not about whether this is legal or illegal. It's just not the right thing to do.

Troy Hill checks in

"Thank you for calling attention to this new litter issue. Blue bags are turning into litter all over Troy Hill as well. If folks don't take them inside, they wind up getting kicked into sewer vents, or driven into a pulp by vehicles."

Nicole Moga, Troy Hill Citizens Inc.

Bring on the litter

Remember last year or so when Councilman Bruce Kraus spearheaded an anti-littering ordinance preventing people from leaving literature on cars and passing out leaflets to others leaving bars? Forget it. A U.S. district judge last month ruled it's OK, which prevents enforcement of that law.

Paint Your Stoop

A bunch of South Side community groups are sponsoring a one-time "Paint Your Stoop" offer on Saturday, March 19. Homeowners have until March 5 to take advantage of the offer. An application form and liability waiver are on our website.

For more information, contact Cathy Mitchell at cathy@southsidegreennat.com. Groups behind this are: South Side Community Council, Green N'at Committee, Lifetime Church and South Side Local Development Corp.

Meet n' Greet sponsors

First Niagara has stepped forward as the presenting sponsor of the Clean Pittsburgh Commission's 4th annual Meet n' Greet Mixer and "Bob Awards" volunteer recognition event. It takes place on Thursday, March 24 at the Schenley Park Ice Skating lodge and brings together Clean Pittsburgh Stewards from the city's 90 neighborhoods and city officials. Two hundred and fifty people are expected. Joining First Niagara are other supporters with financial and in-kind contributions. Thanks to all of them.

"Pittsburgh is cleaner because neighborhood stewards make the Redd Up process work by organizing, recruiting volunteers and directing events," said Boris Weinstein, chairman of the CPC and founder of Citizens Against Litter. "This is our time to let them know we appreciate what they do." Neighborhoods, groups and individuals will receive "Bob Awards", named for the late Mayor Bob O'Connor who expanded "redd up your room" to "redd up our streets."

Redd Up count approaches 150

Almost 150 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, Brentwood, Dormont, Duquesne, Etna, Glassport, Homestead, Indiana, Monroeville, Mount Lebanon, Mount Oliver, McKees Rocks, Natrona Heights, Oakdale, Penn Hills, Pine, Robinson, Ross, Scott, Shaler, South Park, Stowe, Tarentum, White Oak, Wilkins, Wilkinsburg and Wilmerding

Beaver County: Aliquippa, Ambridge, Beaver, Freedom, Harmony, Midland, Monaca, Potter and South Beaver

Butler County: Butler Township

Washington County: California/Coal Center, Canonsburg, Chartiers, Cross Creek, McDonald, Peters, Robinson 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 boris.weinstein@verizon.net or 412-688-9120.

"Stash the Trash" sign up

Letters were sent to Pittsburgh schools last month, urging principals, administration staffs and teachers to register their schools for the spring Stash the Trash on Friday, Apr. 15, the first day of the Redd Up weekend. Details and registration information are available online.

A Pirate reward for participants is in the works.

Duck Hollow dump "dumped"

Could it be that after seven years of illegal dumping at Duck Hollow along the Mon River under the Homestead Grays Bridge, Allegheny CleanWays volunteers and Public Works finally have things cleaned and under control? A terrific article by Diana Nelson Jones in the Post-Gazette last month profiled the saga. The plan now is to gate the area and keep an eye out for fresh dumping.

Read more online at our website.

Pittsburgh Parks events

You can participate in these volunteer events this month:

Sunday, March 13, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, Bartlett Shelter at Schenley Park

Give back to your city parks by volunteering with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to improve Schenley Park's Panther Hollow Run stream. You'll plant native species and learn other restoration techniques.

Saturday, Mar. 19, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm, Pool Grove Shelter at Highland Park

Volunteer with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and help beautify Highland Park. You'll help to clear the last remnants of a dump site in the park, complete a woodland trail, or replant a site that has lost many of its oak trees.

For more information or to register, visit the Parks Conservancy website or call 412-682-7275.

Brentwood's bigger and better

"Brentwood is busy making this Redd Up Day bigger and better. In addition to litter pick up, we are arranging for a dumpster (we moved our "Dumpster Day" to April), and several recycling options for hard to dispose of items."

Cathy Trexler, Council president

Resolve to Redd Up

Resolutions of the New Year's kind hardly ever pan out. But what about resolutions of the governmental kind? Anti-litter activist and Dormont Borough Council member John Maggio wants this one to stick around. He and the rest of the Dormont Borough Council recently passed a resolution "recognizing Pittsburgh area litter clean ups and designating one Saturday in April and October as 'Redd Up Days' in Dormont."

The resolution is an inspiring read to current and future litter-fighters, and recognizes the importance that citizen volunteers play in the quality of life of their communities. We invite other communities to "Resolve to Redd Up." 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.

Read the complete text of the resolution at our website.

Penn Hills leader recognized

Congratulations to Christine Miller, who does a great job organizing litter cleanups twice a year in Penn Hills. She's received one of the Pitt Chancellor's Awards for community service.

Inquiry from Boston

A Boston, Massachusetts couple, trying to make a difference in their neighborhood, feels what they're doing about litter is a lost cause. They read about Citizens Against Litter in Pittsburgh and want to know if what we do is working? Mr. Litterman directed them to our web site with the promise to send more information. "What we're doing here can work everyplace, providing you're willing to put in the time over an extended period," is the advice we sent.

"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.

February's award for a second month goes to the Post-Gazette.

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.

Italy bans plastic bags

Italy has banned the use of single-use non-biodegradable plastic bags starting this year. According to the Reuseit newsletter, Europe uses 100 billion of these bags. Italy's portion is 20 percent. Two years ago China banned the bag and claim that it kept 100 billion bags out of landfills. Ireland has had a tax on bags since 2002. Washington D.C. introduced a 5 cent fee on bags last year. Progressive Bag Alliance estimates worldwide use of plastic bags is 100 billion to a ridiculous one trillion. That's a lot of litter.

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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