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Citizens Against Litter

May 2013 Newsliter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Fall Redd Up with Pitt October 26; Spring/Earth Day Redd Up results; Stanton Heights cleans house; East Allegheny does its thing; Littering is NOT OK; Beck's Run Road dumps; Litter-on-a-stick stinks; Beauty on Bates; Brookline artwork contest huge success; Adopt a Redd Up Zone; Report mailbox graffiti; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Litter Ragout on Bellefonte; Keeping Walnut Street park clean; The last word

Our mission

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

Fall Redd Up with Pitt set October 26

Pitt has informed Citizens Against Litter that Saturday, October 26 will be Make a Difference Day this year. Dates, therefore, for the next area-wide Redd Up Weekend will be October 25, 26 and 27. Last year, more than 3,000 Pitt students performed community service in more than 60 neighborhoods and communities in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Based on previous years, we're projecting a turnout of 10,000 to 15,000 volunteers in 250 communities. Most projects will involve cleanups, tree plantings and community gardens. The Oct 26 PMADD date is the same as national Make a Difference Day, the largest community service day of the year.

Spring/Earth Day Redd Up Results

Citizens Against Litter is projecting that 10,000 volunteers in 200 communities and groups mostly in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County and neighboring counties collected more than 260 tons of litter in the Spring/Earth Day Redd Up.

The projection is based on reports from 25% of the participating communities and groups. On average, each neighborhood/community collected 1.3 tons of litter and trash and 50 volunteers participated in each neighborhood/community Redd Up.

Some highlights. Luci-Jo DiMaggio reported that 550 Duquesne University students, working with resident volunteers (30) on the South Side and volunteers in the Hill District (145), collected over 13 tons (1,300 bags) of litter. Organizations involved were: PA Resources Council, Clean Green Hill, Hill District Consensus Group, Dinwiddie Street Alliance, Lombard Street Assoc., Uptown Partners, House of the Crossroads, Friends of the Riverfront, South Side Slopes Assoc., Macedonia Church, FOCUS Pittsburgh, Ujamaa Collective and Landslide Farms.

Monroeville's 550 volunteers collected seven tons of litter; Collier's 135 volunteers collected almost four tons; Friends of the Riverfront's 132 volunteers collected several tons of litter and junk in an Allegheny CleanWays' Tireless Project; 91 Allegheny County Day Reporting clients collected one ton in Arlington; North Suburban Chamber of Commerce attracted 60 volunteers in six communities (Avalon, Ben Avon, Ben Avon Heights, Emsworth, Kilbuck and Ohio) and collected over two tons.

Manchester's 50 volunteers collected five tons and Sheraden's 27 volunteers collected one ton of litter and waved goodbye to five truckloads of trash. Friends of North Park had a turnout of 63 volunteers who collected more than a ton of litter in the first of two spring cleanups. Their second will be held Saturday, May 4.

Stanton Heights cleans house

Jim Heinrich said 32 volunteers collected about 800 pounds of litter, 500 pounds of trash, 100 pounds of metal and another 500 pounds of stuff, mostly concrete. Monique, a daily litter volunteer, walked down Christopher from Stanton Heights to Lawrenceville. "Sheer joy and beauty," she said. "Thanks to the crew for letting me see nature again."

East Allegheny does its thing

Lynn Glorieux told us:

"East Allegheny has 25 volunteers in our Adopt-A-Block program who pick up regularly. We also had 9 children who picked up a bag of litter to earn a swimming pool pass. We distribute 30 pool passes to kids who pick up litter and promise not to be a litterbug or to turn over trash cans."

Littering is NOT OK

(An article by Dan Kaczmarski. Reprinted with permission from The Brookline.)

I grew up in Brookline, moved away for over three decades, then returned for retirement. Old-timers such as I have much to be nostalgic about regarding Brookline, but there's one local tradition I wish had changed for the better.

There's a culture among more than a few in Brookline that littering is OK. Now I recognize that most people here, and especially readers of this (Brookline) newsletter, don't litter. But the amount of litter thrown on the local sidewalks, and elsewhere in Pittsburgh, is way greater than many other places.

When I was young and -- like many kids -- pretty much concerned with myself, I didn't "see" litter. In fact, sometimes street trash seemed like a good thing?such as when searching for pop bottles for deposits or scavenging for Mallo Cup cards. But somewhere along the line, it occurred to me that litter is ugly, damaging, and demeaning to a neighborhood. As "Keep America Beautiful" says, "Litter is unsightly, costly to remove, and damaging to [homeowners'] property values and commerce."

One of the positive changes I see in Brookline is that today there are some wonderful, dedicated volunteers who regularly sacrifice their own time to hit the streets to clean up other people's garbage. That is noble, admirable, and inspiring, but shouldn't be necessary. The current Boulevard upgrading is like dressing Brookline in a fresh set of clothes. If people continue littering, it will be like wearing a new outfit smeared with food stains. And if people continue to not clean up when their dogs "relieve" themselves, it will be like putting on a new pair of Guccis, then stepping in poop.

So what can we do? Well, let's create in Brookline a culture of zero tolerance for litter. Research has shown that most littering stems from a lack of awareness or sense of obligation. Obviously, we ourselves shouldn't litter. If we have friends who litter, politely call them on it. If we raise or teach kids, emphasize the need to keep our local environment clean.

Since I've been back in Brookline, I've sensed a palpable buzz of excitement, optimism, and vision about the future. I've heard people from other neighborhoods favorably compare Brookline to their own, where they say they sometimes feel that people are giving up. In Brookline, many people are working their tails off to make our community a better home for all of us.

I'm proud to be from Brookline and excited about its future. Let's all take the extra effort to stash the trash.

Becks Run Road dumps

Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak writes in:

"I met with the folks at Allegheny CleanWays to look at dump sites along Becks Run Road. There continue to be hillsides and creeks all over South Pittsburgh that people have treated as their own personal garbage disposal. We will be coordinating several dump site clean-ups again this year -- stay tuned! And in the meantime, please call my office or send us a note through the website to report ones that you see in your neighborhood."

Litter-on-a-stick stinks

City Anti-Litter Coordinator Melissa Rosenfeld passed along three litter-on-a-stick poster ordinance violators:

Call these numbers and tell the people who answer to "take down their signs and stop littering". These signs are everywhere.

Beauty on Bates

(The Post Gazette ran this editorial on April 19 about an ambitious plan to transform this busy Oakland corridor)

Leave it to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, protector of lands and beautifier of traffic intersections. Leave it to them to dig in (literally) and clean up one of the city's all-too-prominent eyesores, Bates Street below the Boulevard of the Allies in Oakland.

That short, hilly stretch of Bates between the boulevard and the Parkway East and Second Avenue is seen by 90,000 motorists a day. Many of them are going to hospitals, universities or the South Side.

Regardless, what they've seen are trash-strewn hillsides and overgrown thickets of invasive plants. But all that is about to change.

With a plan, volunteers and contributions from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh, the conservancy has some of the resources needed for a $150,000 project to beautify the corridor. Forty-five trees will be planted there May 8-9, and Oakland Planning and Development Corp. is still seeking people who'd like to help (email kico@opdc.org or call 412-621-7863, ext. 24).

Unlike one of the conservancy's traffic island plantings, this ambitious, multiphase project will take three years and contain native trees, shrubs and ground plants. It's a beautification effort of a higher order -- one that will bring the soft aesthetics of nature to an asphalt streetscape, courtesy of the conservancy, OPDC and their partners.

Brookline artwork contest huge success

Brookline's Adopt-A-Block Anti-Litter Artwork Contest was a huge success. The ceremonies, held April 27 at the Brookline Recreation Center, attracted over 400 parents, friends, and neighbors who applauded students of five schools from kindergarten through eighth grade for their participation. There were over 400 entries displayed.

School Overall Best awards went to Paige Kuisis of Brookline PK-8; Carmen Wilson of Brookline Regional Catholic; Nicole Tucker of Carmalt Academy; Melina Buchmen of South Brook 6-8; and Savannah White of West Liberty PK-5. A total of 90 awards for kindergarten, first, second, third and honorable mention were recognized.

Assisting Dan and Patty Kaczmarski, committee heads, were Diane Walkowski, Eileen Papale, Keith Knecht and Pamela Grabowski. South Pittsburgh Development Corp. was the sponsor.

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 70 adopted zones in this city program. 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.

"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. April's business litterers are: Post-Gazette Sunday Extra and Vocelli 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.

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.

Litter Ragout on Bellefonte

Looking for something to do on your next walk around the block? Concoct a real live recipe of street litter and trash ingredients.

Keeping Walnut Street park clean

Thanks to Steel Cactus Restaurant and William Penn Tavern employees for doing more than their part to keep the Walnut Street park clean of litter, cigarette butts and the like. Three planters have fresh flowers too. The park is important space to Shadyside residents and visitors.

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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