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Citizens Against Litter

November 2011 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Original 12 mad men and women; Mayor launches Redd Up Zones; Clean Green Hill formed; This takes the cake and litter too; Oct. Redd Up a success; 20 schools stashed the trash; Think Spring. Think Redd Up; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Visit Clean Pittsburgh Commission website; Next to last word; The last word

Our mission

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

Original 12 mad men and women

Recently Mr. Letterman tooted his car horn at two special women: Ann Young and Mary Connolly, and it got him reminiscing. They were among the l2 angry people -- the original ones -- who added the "s" to Citizens Against Litter in Shadyside in April 2005. That's how long we've been around. Obviously, we had one thing in common: We didn't like litter and did something about it. Citizens Against Litter originals are certainly not the only ones or the first ones to pick up litter in our city. But we did our part advancing Redd Ups that now happen in most of the city's 90 neighborhoods and many communities in Allegheny, Beaver and other counties.

Starting the initiative with Mr. Litterman, in addition to Ann and Mary, were: Jake and Arielle Krohn, Leona Paradise, Phil Powell, Kathryn Roeder, Eleanor Slater, Rochelle Solomon and Matt and Marcie Weinstein. Add Gregg Caliguiri (Walnut Grill) and Richard Ratner (William Penn Tavern) of the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce to the list for their encouragement and endorsement and before them City Councilman Bill Peduto.

We can't forget Post-Gazette Editor David Shribman either who wrote us our first letter of support. He was responding to our op ed piece in the PG about removing litter in our city.

Mayor launches Redd Up Zones

The newest weapon to reduce and eliminate litter in our city is the Redd Up Zone initiative. Mayor Ravenstahl announced it October 21. In this program, corporations, businesses, groups of all sorts will be invited to adopt an area, like a 1/2 mile stretch of street, and commit to keeping it clean at least four times a year for two years. The program should be welcomed with open arms by Clean Pittsburgh stewards in all of the 90 neighborhoods. Imagine, when 100 groups of 10 volunteers each adopt a zone this would add 1,000 volunteers to the 10,000 that turned out for last month's Redd Up. There are more than 900 miles of streets in Pittsburgh so when 100 groups adopt 1/2 mile stretches they are committing to clean about 5% of city streets. That's impressive!

Two neighborhoods benefitting immediately are the Strip and Lawrenceville. The Mayor announced that Boy Scout Troop #73 has committed to cleaning four blocks of Butler St. and Mulberry Way in Lawrenceville. The Heinz Historical Center has adopted both Penn Ave. and Smallman St. between 11th and 14th in the Strip District.

Clean Green Hill

Congratulations to neighborhood Clean Pittsburgh Stewards in the Hill District and Uptown. They're connected literally into a collaborative effort under the banner Clean Green Hill. Among their projects are the creation of a multi-area volunteer cleanup coalition, a focused trash survey, identification of problem dumping areas, and 5-10 community memorial gardens/rock gardens. For more information, contact cleangreenhilpgh@yahoo.com. It's original, positive thinking like this that earned the Hill District and Uptown communities a "Bob Award" in 2010 as a "Most Connected Neighborhood."

This takes the cake and litter too

Mr. Litterman sees a lot in his travels around the neighborhood. Most of it goes unreported. But the apartment building at 5525 Ellsworth Ave. in Shadyside has been a fixture on the Garbageville list, both front and rear. Mr. Litterman cleans up the mess often. The super or building manager fails to get the message. Several months ago the super or building manager placed a garbage can at the front entrance. The can fills up. The can overflows. Litter is scattered on the lawn, under bushes, and on the walkway. The can is emptied once in a great while but the damage has already been done. Big league litter on a big league street in full view of hundreds of cars that use Ellsworth Avenue daily. Pretty awful. This situation has been reported to Public Works Environmental Services and the Bureau of Building Inspectors.

October Redd Up a success

Summing up his thoughts, Mr. Letterman wrote: "Sunday morning -- the day after the Redd Up -- I walked clean streets in Shadyside. I'm betting this positive experience was repeated in most neighborhoods by many. Some city residents were volunteers. Most were not. It makes little difference. The bottom line is we got rid of old litter and are in better shape to deal with the fresh litter that will surely drop. My thanks and appreciation to the 10,000 volunteers for a job well done. Among them were 2,525 students participating in 'Pitt Make a Difference Day' -- a turnout that had to be one of the largest by a single group on the National event that attracts three million."

Based on reports from 30% of the participating neighborhoods in and outside the city, volunteers collected about 70 tons of litter and trash.

20 schools stashed the trash

There may have been more, but we have the names of 20 Pittsburgh schools that registered and participated in last month's Stash the Trash event. More than 2,000 kids picked up litter from their campuses. They were: Urban Pathways Charter School, Saint Rosalia Academy, Sunnyside K-8, Carmalt, Liberty K-5, Roosevelt, Fort Pitt ALA, Banksville K-5, Mifflin, Arsenal preK-5, Colfax, Dilworth, Arsenal 6-8, University Prep at Milliones, Grandview, Spring Hill, Immaculate Conception, Faison K-5, Student Achievement Center and Linden.

Think Spring. Think Redd Up

Earth Day in 2012 is Sunday, April 22. Start thinking about our next citywide Redd Up that will probably be that weekend. We're waiting for Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful to set the official date for the Great PA Cleanup.

"I Litter" awards

Advertising materials turn into litter in Shadyside and elsewhere. Businesses and sometimes non-profits are often responsible when they put their business on Shadyside streets. There has been less of this kind of littering recently. Here are October's litterers:

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.

Visit Clean Pittsburgh Commission website

Visit the new CPC website. It will keep expanding with information about what CPC does, how to get involved, resources and news:

Next to last word

Mr. Litterman and Steelers fans have come to expect the Steelers to pick up yards in the Red Zone. Now, though, Pittsburghers can look forward to all kinds of groups picking up yards of litter in the newly-announced Redd Up Zones program.

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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