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Citizens Against Litter

December 2013 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Mr. Litterman on Transition Team; How to maneuver through the system; Spring Redd Up dates set; Count in Stanton Heights; Clean Up Coupon; Is zero litter enforcement in the City's future?; Sign up for a Redd Up Zone; Report mailbox graffiti; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; The last word

Our mission

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

Mr. Litterman on Transition team

Boris Weinstein has been selected to serve on Bill Peduto's Transition Committee to help implement the Mayor-elect's vision toward building a new Pittsburgh. Meetings began November 30.

How to maneuver through the system

(Minnie Brown of Chartiers knew what she wanted but needed help getting started. The following note from Candice Gonzalez of Mayor Ravenstahl's Office is one way you get from first to third with home in sight.)

"Minnie, thank you for your continued volunteering to clean up your Chartiers neighborhood and surrounding areas. You are a volunteer neighborhood steward, working with Boris Weinstein of the Clean Pittsburgh Commission and Citizens Against Litter.

"As for your call today, you said there is a little slope on the right side of the road on Middletown Road (direction of downtown) between Summerdale and Isoline that needs to be spruced up with some kind of greenery and/or flowers. I spoke to Chelsea Peluso of the Neighborhood Initiatives team in the Office of the Mayor, and she said that she can help you with this. She asked that you send her an e-mail message explaining what exactly you have in mind to plant on that slope. Chelsea is cc'd on this message, so you have her e-mail address with this message. Her direct work phone number is (412) 255-8680.

"You said that you are interested in applying for a Love Your Block grant. Kevin Boyle of ServePGH is the contact person for the Love Your Block grants.  His work phone number is (412) 255-2280. Kevin is cc'd on this e-mail message.

"Thank you for taking the time to call me. You have my number now, so you are welcome to call me if I may be of assistance to you.

"Thank you for all that you do to keep Pittsburgh clean and cared for.  We truly appreciate your work!"

Spring Redd Up dates set

Spring is not around the corner. We have all of winter to navigate.

Coordinating with Keep PA Beautiful and steering clear of conflicts with Easter Sunday, Apr. 20, the weekend dates for the Redd Up will be Apr. 25, 26 and 27. Earth Day is Tuesday, Apr. 22.

Many communities do cleanups at other times. For example, next Spring Duquesne University student volunteers will work with South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, Hill District groups (Middle Hill, Lower Hill, Crawford Roberts, Bedford Dwellings and Schenley Heights) and Uptown on Saturday, Apr. 12.

Citizen Against Litter's participation goals remain ambitious but we've reached them in the past. Mr. Litterman is looking for 250 city neighborhoods, outside communities and groups to sign up and recruit as many as 15,000 to 20,000 volunteers. Based on past results, reaching those goals will result in the removal of more than 250 tons of litter, trash and several thousand tires

Sign ups began days after October's Redd Up ended with the return of performance surveys and aggressive e-mailing and phone calling. Following are committed participants. We're over the 50 mark and counting.

Pittsburgh: Allegheny CleanWays, Allegheny West, Allentown, Alpha Phi Sorority (CMU), Bedford Dwellings, Brighton Heights, Brookline, Carrick, Chartiers, Crafton Heights, Crawford- Roberts, Downtown, Duquesne University, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Hills, East Liberty, Elliott, Fairywood, Friendship, Friends of the Riverfront, Garfield, Highland Park, Larimer, Lawrenceville, Lower Hill, Mexican War Streets, Middle Hill, Mt. Oliver, Mt. Washington, Oakland, Paddling Without Pollution, Perry South, Polish Hill, Ridgemont, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, Sheraden, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, Spring Garden, Spring Hill, Squirrel Hill, Stanton Heights, Troy Hill, Uptown, Westwood and Windgap.

Allegheny County: Bellevue, Brentwood, Carnegie, Collier, Duquesne, East McKeesport, Friends of North Park, Forest Hills, Heidelberg, McKees Rocks, North Versailles, Penn Hills, Sharpsburg, South Park, Stowe, Verona and West View.

Count in Stanton Heights

A tireless worker from Stanton Heights writes in:

"Of course, Stanton Heights Neighborhood Association will be taking part! Last weekend I gathered an enormous bag of litter from the Garfield entrance of Stanton Heights. Three cars stopped and the drivers thanked me, and I even found two (now sterilized) pennies.

"I also am trying to keep a dumping area of Allegheny Cemetery clean. I dragged two tires out of the woods (they were visible from the street), and I filled out the 311 form to get them (and two other tires) hauled away. You know better than anyone that the work never ends. Thanks for being an inspiration to us all."

Clean Up Coupon

Yes. There is such a thing. It's the brainchild of Bernie Paquette who puts out a blog/website called "Vermont Litter with a Story to Tell. (http://litterwithastorytotellblogspot.com). I hear from Bernie occasionally and he offered his clean up coupon as a way to remind Pittsburghers that our retailers have a responsibility to do their part to make our city cleaner. This is Bernie's Clean Up Coupon. Clip and use:

CITIZEN: Present to the local retailer of your choice.

RETAILER: There is littered trash on your storefront. I am confident you will take action to clean up this blight and restore your welcome mat to its finest image.

The community and your patrons will thank you for cleaning up the litter on your store frontage including parking area, sidewalk, greenbelt, and roadside.

Please consider this clean up request redeemable / actionable on a weekly or even daily basis. Help YOUR shopping district remain CLEAN and inviting 365 days a year.

Elect clean storefronts; it is a matter of community pride. Moreover, it is a matter of differentiation for your business. 

Paddle Without Pollution

2013 report card: 11 cleanups, 33,000 pounds retrieved from area waters including 500 tires. 2014 project sites will include Chartiers Creek, Allegheny River at Franklin and Tarentum, slippery Rock Creek, Canonsburg Lake and Moraine State Park. Dates will be finalized later. Visit http://paddlewithoutpollution.com/ for more information.

Is zero litter enforcement in the City's future? 

Mr. Litterman wants Mayor Peduto to go where the city has never gone. It's time. Neighborhoods got their feet wet with eight years of Redd Ups. Mr. Litterman wants Redd Ups to continue but he feels we're ready for a greater step.

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 Mayor-elect Peduto to start a whole new initiative -- not just tweak a hand-me-down version from Mayors Ravenstahl and O'Connor.

Mayor-elect Peduto 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: We urge Mayor-elect Peduto to make Zero Litter enforcement a top priority.

Share your comments. E-mail info@citizensagainstlitter.org or boris.weinstein@verizon.net. Share your comments with Mayor-elect Peduto as well. E-mail bill.peduto@pittsburghpa.gov.

Sign up for 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 cityprogram, engaging 1,500 volunteers with over 2,000 service hours that have collected 20,000 pounds of litter. Visit http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/servepgh/reddupzone/ for information and an application.

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. November's litterers are the Post-Gazette Sunday Extra and Pesaro's Pizza.

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.   *  5523 Ellsworth Ave. (rear) *  5525 Ellsworth Ave. (front & rear) *  5527 Ellsworth Ave. (rear) *  10 S. Graham St. (side & rear) *  710 Bellefonte St. (front) *  712 Bellefonte St. (front)  *  727 Ivy St. (front, side) *  816 Ivy St. (rear) *  5238 Ellsworth Ave. at St. James (side) *  Dumpster Alley (behind Walnut St. stores) *  S. Graham St. (between Center & Baum)

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.

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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