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Citizens Against Litter

April 2012 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; CPC five-year "report card" impressive; "Bobbies" for Redd Ups announced; CPC gets "Think Green" grant; Redd Up participation goes over 200 ; Pirates Earth Day Redd Up; Phone book litter; Adopt a Redd Up zone; 8th Brookline Earth Day April 21; Pittsburgh Parks volunteer days; Stamp out mailbox graffiti; Rubber band litter; River Sweep volunteers wanted; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; "Broken Windows" legend gone; Butts go missing; The last word

Our mission

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

CPC 5-year "report card" impressive

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Clean Pittsburgh Commission chairman Boris Weinstein announced that great strides have been made over the past five years to clean up Pittsburgh's neighborhoods. Five years after challenging City residents and organizations to band together to clean up their community, the CPC, at its annual Meet 'n' Greet Mixer for neighborhood Clean Pittsburgh Stewards on March 22 issued its fifth "State of the City Report." The report shows evidence that tremendous progress has been made in the areas of litter, illegal dumping, recycling, graffiti and neighborhood blight. In the five-year period, more than 103,300 volunteers collected an estimated 1,600 tons of litter and cleared 7,000 tires from illegal dumpsites; recycling services resulted in over 65,000 tons of waste recycled into 16,000 tons of compost; and City departments demolished over 2,000 abandoned or dilapidated buildings and removed 8,000 abandoned vehicles.

"I'm proud to see all that our residents and employees have accomplished over the last five years by working together to clean up Pittsburgh's communities," Ravenstahl said. "The hard work of the Clean Pittsburgh Commission, as well as community members and organizations, truly makes an impact on the livability of our City. Through initiatives like the CPC and servePGH, I'm confident that Pittsburgh will continue to get cleaner and safer over the next five years."

The complete news release from the City and the 2011 State of the City report are on the Citizens Against Litter web site.

"Bobbies" for Redd Up announced

Gena Turner, a Clean Pittsburgh Steward in the Elliott neighborhood since 2007, was selected "Volunteer of the Year" for 2011. She organizes and leads spring and fall Redd Ups in one of Pittsburgh's smallest neighborhoods and most visited city-view attractions, the West End Overlook.

Gena and representatives of three neighborhoods were presented "Bob Awards," named for the late Mayor Bob O'Connor, on March 22, at the fifth annual Clean Pittsburgh Commission's Meet n' Greet Mixer, saluting the city's Clean Pittsburgh Stewards in 90 neighborhoods.

Corey O'Connor, the Mayor's son and new District 5 councilman, and Judy, the late Mayor's wife, presented "Bobbies" to three neighborhoods: South Side Flats and South Side Slopes as Most Connected, Allentown as Most Improved, and Lawrenceville as Neighborhood of the Year.

Special "Bobbies" were also presented to the six Public Work Department supervisors who work with 20,000 volunteers in the two annual Redd Ups and throughout the year. They are: Steve Bolar, Dennis James, George McCain, John Radcliffe, John McClory and Bill Crean. The other special award went to Deloitte LLP for its community service in Sheraden and Esplen last year by the Pittsburgh office's 350 volunteers on its annual Impact Day.

Several hundred attended the Mixer at the Schenley Park Ice Skating Rink meeting room. Joining stewards and volunteers were city officials and city council members.

Sponsors of this year's Mixer are: the Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Kevin Acklin, Citizens Against Litter, Council members President Darlene Harris, Theresa Kail-Smith, Bruce Kraus, Corey O'Connor and Bill Peduto, Frank Fuhrer Wholesale, Giant Eagle, pair Networks, Waste Management and Whole Foods.

CPC gets "Think Green" grant

Waste Management officials, attending the Meet n' Greet Mixer, informed the CPC and neighborhood stewards that the Clean Pittsburgh Commission will receive one of 41 national "Think Green" grants ($5,000) for its Redd Up event later this month. These grants encourage local solutions to improve community environments through hand-on participation and engagement opportunities such as cleanups, beautification, recycling and educational programs.

Redd Up participation goes over 200

More than 200 neighborhoods, communities and groups in Pittsburgh and five counties will participate in the Earth Day Weekend Redd Up April 20, 21, 22. "We're going to come close to our goal of 20,000 volunteers," predicts Boris Weinstein, Citizens Against Litter coordinator. Eighty-three city neighborhoods and 51 Allegheny County cities, boroughs and townships are signed up. "We know of at least 42 communities also participating in Butler, Beaver, Washington and Westmoreland counties and we're sure there are more." There's still time for communities to be counted and for individuals to be connected. Contact or call 412-688-9120.

Pittsburgh neighborhoods: Allegheny West, Allentown, Arlington, Banksville, Bedford Dwellings, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Bon Air, Brookline, Brighton Heights, Brightwood, California-Kirkbride, Carrick, Central Northside, Chartiers, Crafton Heights, Crawford-Roberts, Downtown Partnership, Duquesne Heights, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Hills, East Liberty, Elliott, Fairywood, Fineview, Friendship, Garfield, Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Hays, Hazelwood, Highland Park, Homewood (3), Knoxville, Larimer, Lawrenceville (3), Lincoln Place, Lincoln-Lemington, Lower Hill, Manchester, Mexican War Streets, Morningside, Mount Oliver, Mount Washington, Middle Hill, New Homestead, North Point Breeze, Oakland (3), Observatory Hill, Overbrook, Perry Hilltop, Polish Hill, Regent Square, Ridgemont, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, Sheraden, South Oakland, South Point Breeze, South Side, South Side Slopes, Spring Garden-Deutchtown, Spring Hill, Stanton Heights, Strip District, Squirrel Hill (2), Summer Hill, Swisshelm Park, Troy Hill, Uptown, Windgap, West End and Westwood.

Pittsburgh groups: Allegheny CleanWays, Beautify Banksville Road, Clean Green Hill, Explorers Club, Frick Environmental Center, FAME, Friends of the Riverfront, Highland Park Community, Paddling Without Pollution, PA Department of Environmental Protection, PA Resources Council, Pitt-Ohio Express, Pittsburgh Cares, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Postal Service, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pittsburgh Job Corps, South Side Graffiti Watch, The Academy School, Totally Against Litter, UPMC St. Margaret's Hospital, U.S. Airways "Do Crew".

Redd Up Adopt-A-Zone groups: Allegheny County Adult Probation, East Carnegie Community Council, 400 Block of Jucunda Street Committee, Heinz History Center, Manchester Historical Society, Outreached Arms, PA Resources Council, Spring Hill Civic League, West End Children's Center.

Stash the Trash schools: Urban Pathway Charter, St. Rosalia, Immaculate Conception, St. Benedict the Moor, Conway, Sunnyside, Roosevelt, Colfax, Dillworth, Arsenal, Grandview, Miller, Montessori, Fulton, Schiller, Greenfield, Sterrett, Phillips, Carmalt, Carrick and Weil.

Allegheny County: Aspinwall, Avalon, Bradfordwoods, Brentwood, Bridgeville, Chalfant, Collier, Cranberry, Crafton, Dormont, Dravosburg, Duquesne, East McKeesport, Etna, Findlay, Gibsonia, Glassport, Hampton, Heidelberg, Indiana, Leetsdale, Marshall, McKees Rocks, Millvale, Moon, Monroeville, Mount Lebanon, Mount Oliver, Natrona, North Fayette, North Strabane, North Versailles, Oakdale, Penn Hills, Pennsbury, Pine, Robinson, Ross, Rosslyn Farms, Scott, Shaler, Sharpsburg, South Fayette, South Park, Stowe, Verona, West View, Whitehall, White Oak, Wilkins, Wilkinsburg and Wilmerding.

Butler County: Center, Thorn Creek, Washington, Winfield

Beaver County: Aliquippa, Ambridge, Beaver (2), Chippewa, Harmony, Patterson, Potter.

Washington County: Canonsburg, Canton, Cecil, Coal Center, Canonsburg (North Strabane), Cross Creek, East Bethlehem, Hickory, Mingo Creek, McDonald, Nottingham, Panhandle Trail, Peters, Ten Mile Creek, Washinton,West Pike Run.

Westmoreland County: Fairfield, Jeanette, Greensburg, Indian Head & Bagdad Rds., Latrobe, Ligonier, Loyalhanna Lake, New Kensington, Penn, St. Vincent, Unity, Robinson, Sewickley, Smithton, Youngwood.

Pirates Earth Day Redd Up

For the fifth year, Citizens Against Litter, The Academy School, and the Pittsburgh Job Corps will join the Pirates for their annual Earth Day Redd Up on the North Shore on Sunday, April 22. Thirty volunteers will clean up around PNC Park before the game and attend the Pirate-Cardinal game as guests of the Pirates. The Commissioner's Community Initiative Program is a partnership between the Pirates and Major League Baseball.

Phone book litter

Unwanted phone books have become an unwelcome annual sight, littering neighborhoods, marking empty buildings, and creating eyesores. Christine Miller of Penn Hills suggests if you have some extra energy, consider collecting them from your whole street and bring them to recycling places.

Adopt a Redd Up zone

Don't sit on the sidelines. Businesses, corporations and groups are invited to adopt their own Pittsburgh street or zone and agree to pick up litter at least four times a year for two years. Visit for information and an application form.

8th Brookline Earth Day April 21

South Pittsburgh Development Corporation is having its 8th Annual Brookline Earth Day Clean-up on Saturday Apr. 21. Volunteers will meet at Cannon Coffee (802 Brookline Blvd.) at 9 a.m to sign in. Free coffee and pastries will be provided to get our volunteers revved up for a day of litter picking fun. The cleanup will be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m followed by a free lunch.

To continue Brookline's Earth Day celebration, Phipps Master Gardener Lorrie Eusades will conduct a free gardening seminar. Time, place and topic to be announced. Watch for event posters in Brookline local business windows or contact Keith Knecht at or 412-561-4482 for further information.

Pittsburgh Parks volunteer days

Volunteers can sign up to help with various projects this spring Pittsburgh parks. Dates are:

Contact Angela at or 412-682-7275, Ext. 231.

Stamp out mailbox graffiti

Pittsburgh Postmaster Joseph Meimann urges citizens to be proactive and call the Postal Service directly at 412-359-7845 to report mailbox tagging or boxes in need of repair. Help the postal service by giving them specific information of locations and crossing streets.

Rubber band litter

A Newslitter reader and postal service customer writes:

"The rubber band problem also plagues my neighborhood in White Oak. I can't understand why mailmen abandon these rubber bands to the streets they are servicing. Are Post Office officials aware of mailmen who 'mislaid' these rubber bands?"

River Sweep volunteers wanted

The Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission is seeking volunteers for its annual River Sweep 2012 river bank trash cleanup June 16 along the length of the Ohio River and its tributaries in Western Pennsylvania. For information call 1-800-359-3977 or visit

"I Litter" awards

Advertising and promotional 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. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Sunday Extra and Papa John's Pizza share March's "I Litter" awards.


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.

"Broken windows" legend gone

The name James Q. Wilson is hardly known. His "broken windows" theory idea -- eradicating graffiti, public drunkenness and other public signposts of community decay, crucial to making neighborhoods safer -- is well-known world-wide. Legendary Mr. Wilson died March 3.

Butts go missing

Several neighborhood stewards have contacted us to report a mysterious disappearance from the streets of Pittsburgh: cigarette butts, the ubiquitous scourge of our litter-picking efforts, have simply vanished from sidewalks, yards, and gutters. The tales of the missing butts seem to go hand-in-hand with increased sightings of what we are calling the "considerate smoker." Not a lot is known about these elusive creatures, but they have been spotted doing such extraordinary things as field-stripping their cigarettes and pocketing the leftover filters or disposing of their used butts in nearby ashtrays or garbage cans (after extinguishing them of course). Says one observer, "It's nice to start off April with the hope that our streets could remain clean of cigarette butts. But I hope we don't get fooled into thinking that the battle is over."

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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