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Citizens Against Litter

February 2013 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Ora Lee Carroll passes; Spring Redd Up just around the corner; State stats last year impressive; Meet N' Greet Mixer March 21; Love Your Block grant deadline February 14; Adopt a Redd Up Zone; Report mailbox graffiti; Connoquenessing Creek cleanup; Reclaiming vacant city-owned lots; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Word to the wise; Anderson goes bananas; The last word

Our mission

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

Ora Lee Carroll passes

If Citizens Against Litter had a Street of Fame or something like it, Ora Lee Carroll of Larimer would be in its first class. Ora Lee died January 25 at 71. She was founder of the East End Concerned Citizens and a dedicated activist. Mr. Litterman met and spoke often with Ora Lee. Early on in our shared interest to rid the city of litter, Ora Lee loved the suggestion to rename Larimer as "Larimer Green Acres" to describe the hustle and bustle of Redd Ups, dumpsite cleanups and community garden startups in her beloved neighborhood.

Spring Redd Up just around the corner

Neighborhood, community and group participation is approaching 150 and growing for the Spring Earth Day Weekend Redd Up April 19-20-21 (on or about). Most of the signups are in Pittsburgh. Contact with communities is on-going. Earth Day 2013 is Monday, April 22.

Friday will be the day when school kids pick up litter on and around their campuses. Saturday will be the biggest cleanup day. Some communities, like Squirrel Hill, recruit volunteers for Sunday cleanups.

Many communities have their cleanups in the spring on other dates but their participation is listed. Community leaders are asked to sign up by contacting Boris Weinstein of Citizens Against Litter at 412-688-9120 or boris.weinstein@verizon.net.

In Pittsburgh: Alcoa "green" volunteers, AmeriCorps, Adult Probation Day Reporting Center, Allegheny CleanWays, Allegheny Commons, Allegheny West, Allentown, Arlington, Banksville, Bedford Dwellings, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Bon Air, Brighton Heights, Brightwood, Bull Elephants/Masons, California-Kirkbride, Carrick, Central North Side, Chartiers, Citizens Against Litter, Community Technical Assistance Center, Crafton Heights, Downtown Partnership, Duquesne Heights, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Hills, East Liberty, Elliott, Fairywood, Fineview, Friendship, Garfield, Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Hays, Hazelwood , Hill House Consensus Group, Homewood, Knoxville, Jail Trail, Jubilee Christian School (for Banksville Road), Highland Park, Larimer, Lawrenceville, Lincoln Place, Lower Hill, Manchester, Mexican War Streets, Middle Hill, Morningside, Mount Oliver, Mount Washington, New Homestead, Oakland, Oakwood, Observatory Hill, Overbrook, Paddle Without Pollution, PA. Resources Council, Perry Hilltop, Pittsburgh Job Corps, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Polish Hill, Pressley Ridge School for the Deaf, Renew Pittsburgh, Ridgemont, St. Clair, Schenley Heights, ServePgh, Shadyside, Sheraden, South Side Graffiti Watch, South Side Flats, South Point Breeze, South Side Slopes, Spring Garden-Deutschtown, Spring Hill, Squirrel Hill, Stanton Heights, Strip District, Summer Hill, Swisshelm Park, The Academy System, Troy Hill, Uptown, West End Village and Windgap.

In Allegheny County: Chalfant, Etna, Forest Hills, Fox Chapel, Hampton, Heidelberg, Marshall, Natrona Comes Together Assn., North Park Friends, PA. Dept. of Environmental Protection, Penn Hills, Pine, Pleasant Hills, Scott, Shady Side Academy, South Fayette, Friends of South Park, South Park Twp., Stowe, Verona, West Homestead, Wilkins and Wilkinsburg.

In Beaver County: Center (Aliquippa).

In Washington County: Mingo Creek Park, Cross Creek Park.

In Westmoreland County: Greensburg, Keystone State Park, Smithton.

In Butler County: Allegheny Aquatic Alliance, Butler Township, Connoquenessing Creek.

State stats last year impressive

All 67 counties in Pennsylvania were represented in last year's Great American Cleanup of PA. Statistics were just released. There were 4,421 events with 141,264 volunteers. Volunteers collected 338,148 bags of trash or 6,762,960 pounds. They cleaned 13,589 miles of roads, railroad tracks, trails, waterways, and shorelines, and 14,046 acres of parks and/or wetlands. Additionally, volunteers planted 22,511 trees, bulbs and plants in an effort to keep Pennsylvania beautiful.

Since the inception of this event in 2004, over 68 million pounds of litter and waste have been removed from Pennsylvania's landscape, and tens of thousands of trees, bulbs, and flowers have been planted.

To register your event for 2013 find an event near you, or to find additional resources on the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Great American Cleanup of PA, go to http://www.gacofpa.org. Any additional questions can be answered by Michelle Dunn, Great American Cleanup Program Coordinator, at 1-877-772-3673 ext. 113 or mdunn@keeppabeautiful.org.

Meet N' Greet Mixer March 21

Clean Pittsburgh Commission's signature event, the Meet N' Greet Mixer, will be held Thursday, March 21 at the Schenley Park Ice Skating Rink meeting room. The event honors neighborhood Clean Pittsburgh Stewards, the city's finest and cleanest citizens, and highlights outstanding neighborhoods, groups and volunteers with the presentation of "Bob Awards", named for the late Mayor O'Connor.

Love Your Block grant deadline February 14

Only two weeks remain before the application deadline of February 14 for local non-profits for the spring round of Love Your Block grants. The block revitalization program gives up to 30 organizations $1,000 to purchase supplies and equipment necessary to implement a neighborhood block improvement project with community volunteers. Special consideration will be given to projects that engage local veterans and vets' organizations. Contact servepgh@pittsburghpa.gov or call 412-255-2280.

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. Visit http://www.servepgh.com for information and application form.

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.

Connoquenessing Creek cleanup

Christine Handley from the Allegheny Aquatic Alliance of Butler County writes in:

"Allegheny Aquatic Alliance of Butler County is ready for 2013. This year we are preparing for the Connoquenessing Creek Cleanup Celebration much earlier. We have already set the date for August 10. We decided to have it at the peak of summer to ensure low water level and warm weather. We will be continuing the cleanup, starting where we left off at Cottage Lane off old Rt. 68 and finishing right past Renfrew. This next 10 mile section seems to be in the same polluted state as the previous stretch. We are very optimistic about this 2nd cleanup and look forward to beating our record of last year's garbage total of 54,873 pounds!! This requires your continued support and help. Together we will restore this waterway to its beautiful, natural state!"

Reclaiming vacant city-owned lots

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published this editorial last month on vacant city-owned lots:

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? If Mary lives on Pittsburgh North Side, it may be with the help of the Buhl Foundation and Alcoa, which last year put $125,000 into a project to make gardens grow on vacant city-owned lots. The budding community gardens are a project of GYECH Strategies (the acronym stands for Growth Through Energy + Community Health). Once weedy lots favored by people running from police are being reclaimed as places to raise fruit and vegetables. GTECH is looking for ideas for North Side lots and is taking applications at http://www.gtechstrategies.org. Changing of the guard, changing of the seasons."

"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. No awards in January. Isn't that nice?

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.

Word to the wise

Mr. Litterman recycled this advice to a reader from a few years ago. He was asked: "What to do when you see someone littering?" His advice was chalked full of "Don'ts": "Many people today are hostile, angry and oblivious," he cautioned. "You don't want to engage strangers because you don't know their reaction to being confronted and criticized by a stranger -- in this case YOU. So...don't intrude on their space. Don't confront. Don't accuse. Don't criticize. Don't lecture. Don't raise your voice. Don't embarrass him/her in front of others. Ignore. Avoid eye contact. Pick up their litter afterward."

Anderson goes bananas

Or is this the way to handle a litterer? You be the judge. The following article appeared in the Tribune Review a few days after posting the item above.

"Anderson Cooper went crazy on a New York litterbug over the Christmas holidays, The hard-charging CNN journalist revealed -- with chagrin -- that he stopped a woman from dropping the remains of her banana into a mailbox on his street.

"For some reason, I don't know why, it so bothered me," Anderson admitted, sending his "Anderson Live" audience into peals of laughter. "I stopped dead and started yelling at her."

"I said, 'You don't put a banana peel in a mailbox!'"

"He said the litter lout appeared shocked by his outburst.

"Then, she drops the banana peel ON the mailbox," an embarrassed Anderson said, 'I put the banana peel back in her palm...I said, 'Go walk across the street and put it in the garbage can!'"

"Anderson posted about the incident on Twitter at the time: 'Got into an argument today with a lady who was trying to stuff a banana peel into a mailbox. Not sure why it really annoyed me.'"

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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