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Citizens Against Litter

July 2012 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Pick up Pittsburgh; Next up: Neville Island; Clogged storm drains; Making a dent; Litter-busting fines; Good for you Bellevue; Art Festival & recycling; Dump busters; Allegheny County landfills; Striped of litter; Rivers swept of debris; Adopt a Redd Up Zone; Stamp out mailbox graffiti; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Turned over a new leaf; 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 neighborhood.

Pick up Pittsburgh

Mr. Litterman holds onto a Department of Public Works memo from January 9, 2006. It was probably sent and distributed all over the city. The memo may have been one of the first things the late Mayor O'Connor issued upon launching Redd Up when he took office. It goes where Mr. Litterman's briefcase goes. To meetings and to speaking engagements. It's tacked on the wall in his office. It deals with City Code 419.09 and it's pretty straightforward. It goes to the heart of our litter problem.

In an effort to keep the City of Pittsburgh clean, we are asking for your participation. Businesses, landlords and tenants must share in their responsibility to keep our city clean and healthy," the memo reads. "The City of Pittsburgh cannot do this alone, that is why we are asking for your help. It is your responsibility to keep your store fronts and properties clean of trash, litter, graffiti, leaves and walkways clean of snow & ice. The effort is minimal and the results can be tremendous to our city. Please do what's right so we don't have to cite. Thank you for your cooperation.

Several weeks ago Mayor Ravenstahl said the city will get tougher on litter enforcement with greater participation of Public Safety and magistrates. It's the right thing to do. Stay tuned.

Next up: Neville Island

Paddle Without Pollution next tackles Neville Island waters on Saturday, July 28. Group is hoping for at least 30 kayakers, canoeists and land crew volunteers. Contact for more information.

PWP's cleanup of local rivers June 6 netted 4,300 pounds of trash, including 115 large bags of garbage, 25 tires and 60 unbagged items likes bikes, chairs, etc. by 60 kayakers, canoeists and land crews.

Clogged storm drains

A concerned citizen posted on the Don't Trash My Turf! Facebook page an area of concern: Carson Street on the South Side between Hot Metal Street and Becks Run Road. Here is her quote: "Nothing but garbage and grass clippings that were not cleaned up and clogged the storm drains. Carson Street is the worst place for that to be the case."

The clogged storm drains were reported to the Mayor's 311 response team. They said they are going to notify PWSA.

Making a dent

From the June issue of The Brookline:

Keith Knecht organized another successful Spring Redd Up in April. Those of us who pick up trash shudder at the sight of any litter, but the truth is that the [Brookline] Boulevard is looking cleaner. Between the Sunday Trash Walk and the St. Mark's First Saturday Prayer Walk, we seem to be making a dent. But what's up with the McDonald's bag just dropped, followed by the burger wrapper and a few steps further the drinking cup? We can't help but wonder where these people live, and what their homes look like.

Litter-busting fines

"Littering in Pittsburgh could be a $15 fine," wrote a Mt. Lebanon resident in a Post-Gazette letter to the editor about the city's new litter enforcement campaign. "Coming through New York recently," the writer said, "I commented on how spotless a parking area and restroom were, and then I noticed a sign: 'Littering Fine $500.'"

Good for you Bellevue

From the North Suburban Chamber of Commerce:

We received notification (in June) informing patrons, employees and residents that Bellevue Borough will begin enforcing littering violations (according to State Law 6501 which provides for fines up to $300 for the first offense). It is Bellevue Borough's intent to send a clear message through targeted enforcement that littering will no longer be tolerated -- including cigarette butts.

Arts Festival & recycling

The festival diverts more than 80% of potential waste from landfills each year through on-site education and recycling and composting efforts. Since 2008, the festival has diverted 338 tons of waste from landfills. In 2011, the festival eliminated approximately 33,000 plastic bottles from the festival grounds by offering water to guests.

Dump busters

Allegheny CleanWays' DumpBusters section chief Joe Divack recently lead three volunteer illegal dumpsite clearings in three city neighborhoods.

In Brookline, on Pioneer Ave. from Northcrest Dr. to behind Matthews Bronze, volunteers made four visits (6 hours) to the site and removed debris from an area of about 22,600 square yards.

In Larimer, on Lenora St. between Meadow St. and Carver St. volunteers cleared a ravine going down to Negley Run. Volunteers made 6 visits (over 40 hours) and removed around 4 tons of litter from an area of approximately 500 square yards.

In Mount Washington, on William St. covering a stretch near the intersection with Arlington (directly above the Liberty Tunnel), volunteers put in 57 hours covering 14 visits to the 8,000 square yard site and removed over 7 tons of trash.

Allegheny County landfills

The flip side of illegal dumpsites, which are unfortunately used by too many people and contractors, are landfills where users pay a fee and dump legally. Here are five locations in Allegheny County:

There are three so-called transfer stations:

Stripped of litter

Jerry Hughes, Strip resident, writes in:

Following a very busy weekend in the Strip and on the trail (June 8-10) I'm delighted to report the trail is clear of litter (only filled one bag) and the trash containers are not overflowing. It appears all the trash containers from 23rd St. to the Convention Center have been emptied recently. The ones from the I-579 overpass to 11th St. are the most active. The only trash on the trail is around 19th and the river, site of an apparent homeless occupant, identified by shopping cart. Thanks Bill Crean (Public Works Division 6 Supervisor). It's great to see the trail is getting attention.

Rivers swept of debris

The annual Ohio River cleanup effort last month covering 3,000 miles of waterfront from Western Pennsylvania to Cairo, IL attracted its usual 20,000 volunteers and hauled away about 7,000 tons of trash. In the Pittsburgh area more than 600 volunteers collected 25 tons of trash, 200 tires, and other debris along the Ohio, Allegheny, Beaver, Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers and tributaries at 23 cleanup sites.

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 application form.

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.

"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. June's list is short: Post-Gazette's Sunday Extra, Vocelli Pizza, and Camp Bow Wow.


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.

Turned over a new leaf

This guy's a Sorry Charlie. He probably got rid of one bad habit when he tossed an almost full pack of cigarettes on a Shadyside street only to start a new bad habit of littering.

Next to last word

There's enough litter for all of us to pick up.

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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