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Citizens Against Litter

January 2012 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Post-Gazette is back to littering; Squirrel Hill hit too; 5525 Ellsworth Ave. illegal dumping; Spring Redd Up around the corner; Adopt a Redd Up zone; Stamp out mailbox graffiti; City seeks exceptional volunteers; 300 tons of leaves, yard debris collected; Changing faces; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Keeping Greenfield litter-free; The litter bag lady from Stanton Heights; The last word

Our mission

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

Post-Gazette is back to littering

By design, the Post-Gazette Sunday Extra is back on the streets of Shadyside. It started on December 11. Other neighborhoods are targeted as well. Remember last winter when the Sunday Extra -- a free sample of one or two news/feature sections -- began surfacing on city streets? The free Extra turned into a ton of litter because many homeowners ignored the news sections in plastic sleeves and let them sit where they landed or because distributors missed tossing them on porches and they ended up on sidewalks, lawns, bushes and streets. Sunday Extras are back this time with advertising inserts. A message on the sleeve reads: "If you do not wish to receive future editions [get ready for a possible long haul - ed.] please visit or call 1-800-815-3726." Do what you have to to cut done on more litter in our neighborhoods.

Squirrel Hill hit too

Squirrel Hill resident and subscriber writes:

What can be done to stop the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from tossing the Sunday Extra yellow bags on driveways, bushes, lawns, etc.? When the Trib Review did this a few years ago, the Mayor's Complaint Center got them to stop. Calling 311 has not helped this time, nor has calling the Post-Gazette or e-mailing Chris Chamberlain (P-G President). Why don't our litter laws protect us against such nuisances?

5525 Ellsworth Ave. illegal dumping

Illegal dumping can happen right in front of your eyes. On beautiful tree lined, well-cared for streets. This is what is meant by the expression: "There goes the neighborhood." When it happens in Shadyside, Mr. Litterman gets upset because he spends a lot of time picking up other people's messes. When it happens in your neighborhood you should be upset too.

5525 Ellsworth is an apartment building at the intersection of Ellsworth and South Graham. The garbage area in the rear of this building has always been a mess with overflowing open waste dumpsters and garbage scattered on the building's property and city alley. Mr. Litterman knows because he cleans up the mess often. That's bad enough. But about six months ago, the building super placed a waste container at the front door. (I have no idea why.) As expected, building residents began dropping their trash in the container as they entered the building. ("What did you expect me to do, litter the street?") This practice doesn't stop when the container is full. The result, of course, is that litter is piled sky-high and spills onto the front lawn, walkway and sidewalk. It's a sight for sore eyes. You would think the super would wise up, remove the container and eliminate the residential dumping.

The illegal dumping was reported months ago to Environmental Services and the Bureau of Building Inspection. It has now been reported again. Stay tuned.

Spring Redd Up around the corner

Only 110 days till Earth Day and the Spring Redd Up on April 20, 21, 22. Communities and groups in Pittsburgh and surrounding communities are signing on for the big weekend. Word is getting out and Citizens Against Litter has an aggressive challenge: Reach and exceed 250 Redd Ups; collect 250 tons of litter; engage 20,000 volunteers. Stepping up so far are these 100 plus communities and groups:

Pittsburgh: Allegheny CleanWays, Allegheny West, Allentown, Banksville, Banksville Road, Bedford Dwellings, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Brookline, Brighton Heights, Brightwood, California-Kirkbride, Carrick, Central Northside, Chartiers, Clean Green Hill, Crafton Heights, Downtown Partnership, Duquesne Heights, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Liberty, Elliott, Fairywood, Fineview, Friendship, Friends of the Riverfront, Garfield, Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Hazelwood, Highland Park, Homewood, Larimer, Lawrenceville, Lincoln-Lemington, Lower Hill, Manchester, Mexican War Streets, Mount Oliver, Mount Washington, Middle Hill, Paddling Without Pollution, PA Resources Council, Oakland, Observatory Hill, Overbrook, Perry Hilltop, Pittsburgh Cares, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Post Office, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pittsburgh Job Corps, Polish Hill, Redd Up Zone groups: Allegheny County Adult Probation, Heinz History Center, PA Resources Council, Spring Hill Civic League, West End Children's Center, Regent Square, Ridgemont, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, Sheraden, South Oakland, South Side, South Side Slopes, Spring Garden-Deutchtown, Spring Hill, Stanton Heights, Strip District, Squirrel Hill, Summer Hill, Swisshelm Park, The Academy School, Totally Against Graffiti, Uptown,Windgap, West End and Westwood.

Allegheny County: Brentwood, Crafton, Cranberry, Dormont, Etna, Findley, Heidelberg, McKees Rocks, Moon, Monroeville, Mount Lebanon, Mount Oliver, Natrona, North Versailles, Penn Hills, Robinson, Sharpsburg, South Park, Stowe, West View, Wilkins, Wilkinsburg and Wilmerding.

Beaver County: Beaver

Washington County: Coal Center

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.

Stamp out mailbox graffiti

In 2010, the U.S. Postal System began an aggressive campaign to remove graffiti, paint and repair mailboxes in these city neighborhoods: Mt. Oliver, Carrick, Oakland, South Side, Bloomfield, Friendship, the Strip and Cultural District. Hundreds of mailboxes got attention. Pittsburgh Postmaster Joseph Meimann met with the Clean Pittsburgh Commission in December and told members that the Postal Service will identify more neighborhoods to target early in the new year.

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

City seeks exceptional volunteers

Mayor Ravenstahl wants names of exceptional volunteers. He wants to recognize them and their organizations with Citizen Service Awards. The program was started last year.

Awardees do not need to be residents of Pittsburgh, but their service should have a positive impact on the City. You can nominate yourself or another community member who has gone above and beyond to give back to our neighborhoods. Recipients will be honored with a City of Pittsburgh Proclamation and a personal letter of thanks from Mayor Ravenstahl. Recognition will be awarded on a rolling basis.

If you would like to share your volunteer accomplishments, or know of someone who is making an impact in your community, fill out a nomination form. More information may be found at or 412-255-2280.

300 tons of leaves, yard debris collected

November's curbside leaf and yard debris collection by Public Works totaled over 300 tons of compostable material. Leaves and yard debris will be turned into compost by the City's contractor, Diamond Mulch. Much of the material will be returned to the City this year to be used in community parks.

Changing faces

Councilman Doug Shields moves on. Councilman Corey O'Connor moves up. Mr. Litterman has worked with both of them and wishes them the best in their new challenges. District #5 neighborhoods Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Hays, Hazelwood, Lincoln Place, Regent Square, Squirrel Hill and Swisshelm Park will continue to be in good hands with Corey. Both men aren't timid about bending over backwards to help citizens against litter all over the city keep litter off the streets.

"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. Here is December's one and only "I litter" awardee:


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.

Keeping Greenfield litter-free

They keep tabs monthly in Greenfield. Last month volunteers of the Greenfield Organization nabbed 64 bags of litter and recyclables. Credit Laura -- with an assist from her dog -- with a record haul of 41 bags from Beechwood Blvd., Murray Ave., Windsor, Welfer, Mirror and Lilac streets. Thanks to Laura and all the volunteers and the information from Pat Hassett.

The litter bag lady from Stanton Heights

Monique Dietz writes in:

I keep collecting a bag a day. Reporting four tires dumped at corner of Duncan St. and Christopher. Happy Holidays and Happy Cleaning! And as always, thanks.

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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