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Citizens Against Litter

May 2012 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Fall Redd Up dates already; Stanton Heights soars; Less litter in Hill District; Half the litter in Brookline; Carrick biz corridor looking good; Chartiers Creek cleaned; Spring Redd Up over and out; Clean streets off Ellsworth; Adopt a Redd Up Zone; Oakland is in the zone; Stamp out mailbox graffiti; Don't forget River Sweep; 5-year State of the City report card; "I Litter" awards; It wasn't always like this; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; 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.

Fall Redd Up dates already

I know. I know. We just put the spring Redd Up to bed and we're already talking about the fall. All we want you to do for now is schedule the dates on your calendar. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 19, 20, 21. These dates coincide with the popular "Pitt Make a Difference Day" which will be Saturday, October 20. About 2,700 Pitt student volunteers poured into city neighborhoods and Allegheny County communities last October and Citizens Against Litter will again coordinate this volunteer placement with Pitt's Outreach Office.

Stanton Heights soars

Allegheny CleanWays, Comcast Cares, Citizens' Care, Best Buddies and Stanton Heights residents -- 99 volunteers in all -- had a victory of sorts clearing two illegal dumps at Stanton and Woodbine and Christopher and Antoinette. About 12-13 tons. Mike Sturges wrote in with a description of their haul:

"Two tons of mixed unbagged debris, one ton of scrap metal, 36 tires, 28 contractor bags of garbage, and 44 contractor bags of invasive species (Japanese knotweed and garlic mustard). In addition to this, we moved eight tons of concrete to be recycled. Volunteers moved about five tons of wood and brush to discourage future landscaping dumping."

Less litter in Hill District

Michele Cooper from Macedonia Development reported:

"We had wonderful support (as always!!) from Duquesne University students. A couple of our consistent volunteers were very happy that there is actually less garbage to pick up. Overall, the community is very engaged and there is a visible difference. The Hill District Consensus Group is working with the Clean Green Hill collaborative to coordinate efforts in the Hill District and Uptown. We are just starting, but I am excited about this new relationship with the Consensus Group. We encountered a man who told us the volunteers (and the beautiful day) inspired him to work on his side lot. So we provided him with bags, and when we left his block he was hard at work!"

Half the litter in Brookline

Keith Knecht reports in from Brookline:

"We had another good clean up, though it was pretty damp. The good news is that after eight years, we are collecting about half to a third of the garbage we used to deal with. We have a number of people adopting a block and going out on Sundays for trash walks.

"The kids cleaned the park areas but the parks were so clean already that they ventured out and did the surrounding streets and alleys.

"Lunch was provided for adult volunteers (18) and the kids (40) got a pizza party at the Brookline Rec. Center."

Carrick biz corridor looking good

Missy Rodenfeld from Carrick writes:

"Despite the weather, Carrick had a decent turnout. Most important, Brownsville Road and Nobles Lane were cleaned. Carrick's business corridor is looking great. Division 4 Public Works Supervisor John Radcliffe told us what a good job we did. It is amazing what can be accomplished when people work together."

Chartiers Creek cleaned

Melissa Rohm says:

"23 Paddle Without Pollution volunteers pulled 2,100 pounds of bagged litter, 31 tires and lots of un-baggable junk from a 3.5 mile stretch of Chartiers Creek in Upper St. Clair and South Fayette."

They have the photos to prove it. Check them out in our gallery:

Spring Redd Up over and out

Thirty-six reports show neighborhoods averaging 43 volunteers and collecting 1 1/2 tons of litter, trash and junk. Please get your reports to Mr. Letterman.

Let's hear it one more time for all the Redd Up volunteers. Thank you. More than 250 neighborhoods, communities and groups in Pittsburgh and five counties participated in the Earth Day Weekend Redd Up April 20-22. Redd Ups actually started in March and will continue into May. Mr. Litterman estimated that possibly 15,000 volunteers turned out. A wet day kept many volunteers away. Some neighborhoods rescheduled their clean ups. Eighty-four city neighborhoods and 60 Allegheny County municipalities, boroughs and townships took part. "We know at least 50 communities also participated in Butler, Beaver, Washington and Westmoreland counties and we're sure there were more," said Boris Weinstein whose Citizens Against Litter group coordinated the event.

Pittsburgh neighborhoods that participated include 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 that took part were Alcoa Green Works Initiatives, Allegheny Commons, Allegheny CleanWays, Beautify Banksville Road, Bull Elephants, Clean Green Hill, Comcast, Corey's Crew, Coro Pittsburgh Public Allies, Explorers Club, Frick Environmental Center, FAME, Friends of the Riverfront, Homewood Agricultural Project, Homewood LAMP, Rapha Ministries and North Way Community, Highland Park Community, Paddling Without Pollution (Cross Creek and Chartiers Creek), 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, Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project, Starbucks, Shadyside Academy, South Side Graffiti Watch, South Side Tree Project, Tree Vitalize, The Academy School, Totally Against Litter, UPMC St. Margaret's Hospital, U.S. Airways "Do Crew".

Redd Up Adopt-A-Zone groups included Allegheny County Adult Probation, Boy Scout Group #343, East Carnegie Community Council, 400 Block of Jucunda Street Committee, Heinz History Center, Manchester Historical Society, Mount Washington CDC (6 zones), Outreached Arms, PA Resources Council, St. Paul AME, 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, Dilworth, Arsenal, Grandview, Miller, Montessori, Fulton, Schiller, Greenfield, Sterrett, Phillips, Carmalt, Carrick and Weil.

Allegheny County communities: Allegheny County Human Services, Aspinwall, Avalon, Baldwin Twp., Bellevue, Ben Avon, Ben Avon Heights, Bradfordwoods, Brentwood, Bridgeville, Chalfant, Collier, Cranberry, Crafton, Dormont, Dravosburg, Duquesne, East McKeesport, Emsworth, Etna, Findlay, Friends of North Park, Friends of South Park, Gibsonia, Glassport, Hampton, Heidelberg, Indiana, Kilbuck, Leetsdale, Marshall, McKees Rocks, Millvale, Moon, Monroeville, Mount Lebanon, Mount Oliver, Natrona, North Fayette, North Strabane, North Suburban Chamber of Commerce, North Versailles, Oakdale, Ohio, 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: Butler, 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: Allegheny, Fairfield, Jeanette, Greensburg, Hempfield, Indian Head & Bagdad Rds., Latrobe, Ligonier, Loyalhanna Lake, New Alexandria, New Kensington, Penn, St. Vincent, Unity, Robinson, Sewickley, Smithton, Youngwood.

Clean streets off Ellsworth

Mr. Litterman did some touch up litter removal on some Shadyside streets between Alder and Ellsworth early last month -- a couple weeks before Redd Up Earth Day weekend. Hats off to the residents of these streets. Their streets are litter-free: Emerson, Lehigh, Carron, Greenbrier Way, Yardley Way and Spahr.

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.

Oakland is in the zone

The most up-to-date number we have for adopted Redd Up Zones is 37. That means 18 miles of streets will be cleaned of litter 4 times a year or 72 miles. An impressive number. Mr. Litterman is most impressed with the commitment made in Oakland. Here is the list of streets that will get TLC: Craft Ave., Joe Hammer Square, Kennett Square, Niagara St. plus Bates, Semple, Lawn, Mackey, Oakland Ave., N. Neville, Ditheridge, DeSoto, Terrace, Blvd of the Allies, Bouquet, Fraser, Boehm, Griffith, Ward, Halket St., Halket Place, Louise, Robinson and Meyran.

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.

Don't forget River Sweep

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. Information: 1-800-359-3977 or .

5-year State of the City report card

Boris Weinstein, chair of the Clean Pittsburgh Commission, discussed the 5-year performance of city departments, non-profits and city volunteers to control waste and blight in an interview on WPXI-TV's Talking Pittsburgh Saturday, April 28. All A's. 100,000 Citizens Against Litter volunteers removed 1,000 tons of litter; 3,300 Allegheny CleanWays volunteers removed 600 tons of debris from 156 illegal dumps; 23,000 kids removed 37 tons of litter in 210 Stash the Trash cleanups in Pittsburgh schools coordinated by PA Resources Council;

Public Works Redd Up crews removed 22,000 tons of debris from 1,800 vacant lots and boarded up 5,600 vacant buildings; Bureau of Building Inspection demolished 2,400 abandoned/dilapidated buildings; Public Safety removed 8,000 abandoned vehicles from our streets and city-owned property; City Graffiti Busters removed 35,000 square feet of graffiti tags; and Environmental Services recycled 65,000 tons and composted 16,000 tons of garbage while saving the city $1.5 million in costs and generating $3 million in income.

"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. This kind of littering is picking up again.

It wasn't always like this

We need another award like we need more litter. But...the double house at 612-614 S. Aiken Ave., near Ellsworth has transformed itself from a "Garbageville" regular to a nice-looking litter-free property. For years this property was a sight for sore eyes. Gone are the buildup of leaf litter, litter on the side of the house and unkempt front. In its place are repaired concrete steps, decorative wall and new landscaping, featuring plants and flowers. What a difference.


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.

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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