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Citizens Against Litter

August 2013 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Our 100th Newslitter; Get "hooked"; Zero Litter enforcement; Fall Redd Up signups underway; Knotweed knockout; Thanks Spring Hill ; Become a Citizens Against Litter volunteer; Adopt a Redd Up Zone; Something extra; Report mailbox graffiti; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; How much is a ton?; Life on The Street; The last word

Our mission

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

Our 100th Newslitter

You're reading the 100th issue of the Newslitter, the voice of Citizens Against Litter. We also have a website that's been around for more than eight years too, http://www.citizensagainstlitter.org. All Mr. Litterman can say is "Keep bending and picking up. We've hardly scratched the surface."

Thanks for your support.

Get "hooked"

It happened to Mr. Litterman. Post-Gazette columnist Brian O'Neill wrote about it happening to him years ago (http://bit.ly/15YYXSh). Rich Lord wrote about it happening to him several weeks ago. Thousands of us have had the same experience. I'm talking about picking up bottles and cans and then graduating to picking up all kinds of litter as we walk the streets alone, with a companion or with the dog. Before you know it, you're cleaning up the neighborhood. Nice habit to get into. Read Rich Lord's article "My summer of hitting the bottles" in the PG, July 20 right here: http://bit.ly/18reCfu

Zero Litter enforcement

This is starting to sound like a broken record. Like most cities, Pittsburgh has litter problems. It comes in four ways:

What should be done about our litter problems?

The time has come for Pittsburgh to push beyond neighborhood Redd Ups. This is a challenge for our next mayor to start a whole new initiative -- not just tweak a hand-me-down version from Mayors Ravenstahl and O'Connor.

Our next mayor needs to make Zero Litter, with an emphasis on "enforcement," his priority. Pittsburgh needs an all-out fresh effort to dig out the roots of our litter problems. Please, though, not city-wide at first. Too much. Too fast. It won't work.

Start in one or a few neighborhoods with a focused, affordable one-year program that brings together a committed mayor who directs his staff, Public Works, Bureau of Building Inspection, Public Safety, Urban Renewal Authority, Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority, City Council, magistrates and concerned others to strictly enforce ordinances, enact new ordinances as needed, issue warnings, write citations and collect fines.

A well-managed test of Zero Litter would work, providing there is a no-nonsense strategy of goals, studies and applies best methods, holds agencies accountable, encourages neighborhood participation and provides for ongoing outside oversight. The key is commitment: The next mayor must make Zero Litter enforcement a top priority.

Fall Redd Up signups underway

Neighborhoods, groups and communities are three months from picking up litter, planting trees, tending to gardens and engaging in beautification projects but it is the time many to sign ups for the fall Redd Up and Pitt Make a Difference Day weekend Oct. 25, 26 and 27. Over 100 are signed up:

In Pittsburgh: Adult Probation Day Reporting Center, Allegheny CleanWays, Allegheny West, Arlington, Allentown, Banksville, Bedford Dwellings, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Beautify Banksville Road, Bloomfield, Bon Air, Brightwood, Brighton Heights, Brookline, Bull Elephants, California-Kirkbride, Carrick, Chartiers, Downtown Partnership, East Allegheny, East Hills, East Liberty, Elliott, Fairywood, Fineview, Friendship, Garfield, Glen Hazel, Hays, Hazelwood, Homewood, Jail Trail, Larimer, Lawrenceville, Lincoln Place, Lower Hill, Knoxville, Manchester, Mexican War Streets, Middle Hill, Mt. Washington, Mt. Oliver, New Homestead, Oakland, Overbrook, Paddle Without Pollution, Perry Hilltop, Pittsburgh Cares, Pittsburgh Parks, Polish Hill, RSVP, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, Sheraden, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, Spring Garden, Spring Hill, Stanton Heights, Strip District, Summer Hill, Swisshelm Park, Troy Hill, Uptown Partners, West End and Windgap.

In Allegheny County: Aspinwall, Brentwood, Collier, Dormont, East McKeesport, Etna, Harmar, Hollow Oak Land Trust, McKees Rocks, Friends of North Park, Leetsdale, Moon, Mt.Oliver, North Versailles, Penn Hills, Pine, Port Vue, Rosslyn Farms, Shady Side Academy, Sharpsburg, South Park, Friends of South Park, Stowe, Verona, West Homestead and Wilkinsburg.

In Beaver County: Aliquippa, Beaver.

In Washington County: North Strabane, West Pike Run.

Sign up your group at info@citizensagainstlitter.org. It's that time to circle the date on your community calendar.

Knotweed knockout

This is different and educational. On the second Friday of every month this summer, the PHCA (Polish Hill) Green Team will host a workday at the Knotweed Knockout site at the end of Melwood Ave. under the Bloomfield Bridge. Volunteers will tend to the new trees, cut knotweed, and do other site maintenance. To find out more about these and other upcoming PHCA Green Team volunteer opportunities, email Green Team leader Valerie Testa.

Thanks from Spring Hill

Ben Soltesz of Spring Hill writes in with these kudos:

"I would like to recognize a city employee that was extremely helpful to our neighborhood. I helped organize the Deutschtown Music Festival on July 6, and we reached out to the Environmental Service Recycling Division for bins. Oscar was very responsive. He delivered bins and bags to our location and was very helpful with any questions I had. He picked up our bins and recycling garbage first thing the following Monday and spoke to me on the phone confirming this. I would recommend his assistance to anyone needing recycling bins from the city for events."

Become a Citizens Against Litter volunteer

Be a joiner. When you give us your name, email address and neighborhood/community you want to volunteer with, we will connect you with a contact. Email info@citizensagainstlitter.org or boris.weinstein@verizon.net or call 412-688-9120.

Adopt a Redd Up Zone

Looking for a worthwhile neighborhood project? 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. There are more than 76 adopted zones in this city program, engaging 1,500 volunteers with over 2,000 service hours that have collected 20,000 pounds of litter. Visit http://www.servepgh.com/ for information and application forms.

Something extra

If you want to remove your address from receiving the Post-Gazette Sunday Extra call 800-228-6397. And if you see papers being left at abandoned properties, contact the Post Gazette with those addresses too. The Sunday Extra edition is being targeted to households who currently do not subscribe to the paper. Unfortunately, when left outside and not picked up for days or longer, it is nothing short of littering.

Report 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's less of this going on. July's litterers are: Post-Gazette Sunday Extra and Oriel.

Garbagevilles

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.

How much is a ton?

From the Allegheny CleanWays summer newsletter comes this interesting tidbit:

"We at Allegheny CleanWays often throw around numbers when talking about the work we do. We frequently state pounds (or tons) removed, miles of riverfront cleaned, and numbers of tires recycled. But what do those numbers really mean? How much is "a ton?" What does a thousand tires actually look like? And what, ultimately, is the result?

"To help you visualize the numbers: That tonnage includes 16,518 tires. Laid flat on the ground and touching each other (with an average diameter of 25 inches) that many tires would stretch 6.5 miles (roughly the distance from the 16th Street Bridge to the Highland Park Bridge exit on Rt. 28)! If stacked (with an average of 6 inch width), they would stretch just over 1.5 miles into the sky or the equivalent of 15 Cathedral of Learning buildings stacked on top of each other! So far this year, we have removed 127 tons (about the weight of 18 elephants) and 2,536 tires (just over 2 Cathedral of Learning buildings high)."

Life on the street

Saw a paper on the ground
Wind was blowing it round and round
Picked it up to put the trash
Turned it over and in a flash
An angel appeared looked just like me
Who are you I said please answer my plea
I am the God of life for all to see
Just like the God that lives in the tree
Have heart people on the ground
When you find trash blowing round and round
It is the mystery of life you have found.

(The poem above was written by Will Luffy, a Brookline merchant who shared it with the Brookline Sunday Trash Walkers. Reprinted with permission of the Brookline Newsletter).

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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