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Citizens Against Litter

March 2012 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; It's called "littering"; Active & passive littering by any name; Earth Day Redd Up Apr. 20, 21, 22; See us on Comcast Newsmakers; There goes the neighborhood; You can say that again; Ban rubber band litter; Adopt a Redd Up Zone; Meet n' Greet/ "Bobbies" March 22; Pittsburgh Parks volunteer days; Stamp out mailbox graffiti; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; 311 complaint form; Banned; Words to live by; The last word

Our mission

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

It's called "littering"

When thinkers or non-thinkers toss stuff on sidewalks/streets/highways or out of vehicles we call it littering. When homeowners/renters and businesses overload garbage cans and open waste containers we call it littering, leading to a stinking and unsightly mess. And when the Post-Gazette week after week tosses its free Sunday Extra circulation promotion sampler on lawns, in bushes and on sidewalks this, too, is littering. One example. Two weeks ago, with a break in the weather, Mr. Litterman was picking up litter in central Shadyside. At 621 Bellefonte St., a house that's being rehabbed, he picked up eight yellow plastic sleeve Sunday Extras from the front lawn and walk. No one is living there.

The message on the plastic sleeve reads: "If you do not wish to receive future editions (it will be delivered each weekend for one year) please visit or call 1-800-815-3726." It's a suggestion you might want to accept.

Active & passive littering by any name

Where do you fit?

"Tossers" -- While on foot or while your foot's on the pedal. Active.

"Benders" -- The good guys. Those of us who pick up litter (ours and theirs). Active.

"Blinders" -- People who exit their residences, see litter around them, and ignore it. Passive

"Pretenders"-- My favorite. People who talk and talk a good game against litter, cigarette butts and graffiti and have yet to pick up or cleanup...just once. Passive.

Earth Day Redd Up April 20, 21, 22

The challenging triple goal for the Spring Earth Day Redd Up (April 20, 21, 22) is 250 communities/groups, 250 tons of collected litter and 20,000 volunteers. "We're only halfway there," says Mr. Litterman. "Response from city neighborhoods is strong. We're hoping for more response from communities in Allegheny, Beaver and Washington counties. Contact or call 412-688-9120.

Pittsburgh neighborhoods: Allegheny West, Allentown, 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, 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, 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, Paddling Without Pollution, PA Resources Council, Pittsburgh Cares, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Postal Service, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pittsburgh Job Corps, Redd Up Adopt-a-Zone Groups ( Allegheny County Adult Probation, Heinz History Center, Jucunda Street Committee, PA Resources Council, Spring Hill Civic League, West End Children's Center), South Side Graffiti Watch, The Academy School, Totally Against Litter, U.S. Airways "Do Crew".

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

Beaver County: Aliquippa (Center), Ambridge, Beaver, Harmony.

Washington County: Coal Center, Peters, Canonsburg (North Strabane), Cross Creek, Nottingham, Washinton

Westmoreland County: Jeanette, Latrobe, Ligonier, Penn, St. Vincent (Unity), Robinson, Youngwood.

See us on Comcast Newsmakers

Mr. Letterman thanks Comcast Newsmakers for the interview about Citizens Against Litter and the Earth Day April 20-22 Weekend Redd Up that will be aired 50 times in March at 25 and 55 minutes past the hour on HLN (CNN Headlines News). The interview is a shout out for volunteers and communities to register their participation. Comcast has supported Citizens Against Litter over the years. Viewers in the 10-county Pittsburgh Region will see the messages.

There goes the neighborhood

A frustrated volunteer from Kentucky Avenue writes:

What can we do about these rental houses in Shadyside that keep their trash cans in front of their houses? I've about had it with them. Why aren't the landlords being fined? It seems to get worse each year.

You can say that again

Apparently the cleanup of front-of-the-house garbage can blight on Shadyside's Howe Street was observed and made an impression on other residents with similar complaints.

One resident brought to Mr. Litterman's attention the duplex at 4830-32 Ellsworth Ave. (across from Ellsworth Terrace). Mr. Litterman drove by the property on a recent Thursday and he's right. There in the double garage driveway sit the garbage cans. Garage pickup is the following Tuesday/Wednesday.

Other houses with garbage cans and garbage/trash in front yards reported:

The city is taking action against these properties. The condition has existed for some time. The blight has become part of the everyday scenery. These are not the only properties causing neighborhood blight. Our goal is to eliminate front-of-the-house garbage can problems one property at a time.

Ban rubber band litter

How bad can it be? Mr. Litterman got a note from a Shadyside volunteer who wants mail carriers to stop littering the streets with discarded rubber bands. Apparently streets in his area are pretty clean if he's disturbed by rubber band litter. Can't blame him. though. During the Big War, rubber bands (and other stuff) were reclaimed from streets and recycled.

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.

Meet n' Greet/ "Bobbies" March 22

Pittsburgh finest and cleanest -- those would be Clean Pittsburgh Stewards -- will be honored Thursday, March 22 at the fifth annual Meet n' Greet Mixer (6 to 8 p.m.) at the Schenley Park Ice Skating Rink Lodge. The event highlight is the presentation of "Bob Awards" to individuals, groups and neighborhoods. "Bobbies" honor the Redd Up creator, the late Mayor Bob O'Connor. His widow, Judy, and son, new Councilman Corey O'Connor, will present awards as they have done since 2009.

Pittsburgh Parks volunteer days

Volunteers can sign up to help with various projects this spring Pittsburgh parks. Dates are March 11 (Highland Park), March 25 (Riverview Park), April 14 (Highland Park), April 21 (Frick Environmental Center) and April 29 (Schenley Park). 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.

"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.

February's "I Litter" awardee is Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Sunday Extra


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.

311 complaint form

A Newslitter reader writes in:

In your important contact numbers section, you might also make reference to the fact that 311 complaints can be filed on line. The complaint form is on the Mayor's web page. The advantage of filing complaints on line is that you can directly provide the details, and even make suggestions as to what needs to be done about the problem. The staff in the 311 Office can simply forward the complaint to the appropriate agency(ies). We've found use of the on-line 311 complaints to be very helpful.

The form is located at


Those everywhere-you-go-you-see disposable water bottles have been banned from Grand Canyon National Park. Small bottles make 20% of all garbage removed from the park. They account for a lot of our litter as well.

Words to live by

Citizens Against Litter wants you: One person can make a difference. People who care must pick up for people who don't care.

Or, in the words of the late Dr. Seuss, "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

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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