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Citizens Against Litter

April 2014 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; RX for the common litter; True then; true today; Spring sprung March 8; Staying the course; April full of Redd Ups; goals already exceeded; Dates set for fall Redd Up with PMADD; Joe Bonadio is in good company; Brookline's Edgebrook dump disappearing; Hollow Oak needs volunteers; Monaca does more than two Redd Ups; Beaver County tireless days; Signup for a Redd Up Zone; DumpBusters training; Report mailbox graffiti; "61 free Sunday PGs litter on my block"; "I Litter" Awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Great Litter Count in the UK; The last word

Our mission

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

RX for the common litter

G + litter = Glitter. Let's make it happen. Start with a Zero Litter ENFORCEMENT model in one neighborhood against the four causes of most litter: everyday litter, illegal dumping, overflowing, uncovered and inadequate waste containers and littered storefront sidewalks in neighborhood business districts.

True then; true today

A dear friend of mine, Arthur Spiegel, a resident of Pocusset St. in Squirrel Hill at the time, wrote a letter (co-signed by 10 neighbors) to Mayor Caliguiri, 27 years ago in 1987. He had suggestions to curb what he called "the serious deteriorating situation -- clutter, debris and garbage" in an area in his neighborhood. He found that letter recently and shared it with me. Mr. Spiegel's suggestions then are what Citizens Against Litter is asking for today to curb litter causes all over the city -- Zero Litter ENFORCEMENT.

Spring sprung March 8

Spring came early for Mr. Litterman. March 8 was a great day. Finally. So I began picking up litter on my street and in my neighborhood. What a great feeling to see litter disappearing from the street to my picker upper and into plastic supermarket bags. Hundreds of you have been doing the same thing as the weather improves. Please keep it up. March has been our spring training like the Pirates, whose 2014 season is finally underway for real. It's Redd Up time.

Staying the course

A Stanton Heights volunteer reported last month that spring came early for him as he picked up two bags of litter on his stay-at-home-vacation.

April full of Redd Ups; goals already exceeded

There are all kinds of anti-litter and beautification events this month, peaking with the annual spring Redd Up Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 25-27. Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22.

However, many communities do their cleanups at other times. For example, 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 for their Redd Ups on Saturday, April 12.

Citizen Against Litter was 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 would result in the removal of more than 250 tons of litter, trash and several thousand tires.

Following are committed participants that we know of. We're already beyond the 250 goal. Is your community among the committed? Let us know. There's still time to organize a group and participate. Or if you're a lone volunteer and want to connect with an existing group, contact us. Chances are good we can put you in touch with the right people. Call 412-688-9120 or e-mail boris.weinstein@verizon.net.

Pittsburgh: Alcoa Volunteers, Allegheny CleanWays, Allegheny County Adult Day Probation Program, Allegheny West, Allentown, Alpha Phi Sorority (CMU), Arlington, Arlington Heights, Beechview, Bedford Dwellings, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Bon Air, Brighton Heights, Brookline, Brookline's Edgebrook Ave. Dump Site Cleanup, California-Kirkbride, Carrick, Chartiers, Citizens Against Litter, CMU 1000 Plus (volunteers) Initiative, Crafton Heights, Craig Street Corridor, Crawford- Roberts, Downtown, Duquesne Heights, Duquesne University Spiritan Campus Ministry, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Hills, East Liberty, Elliott, Explorers Club, Fairywood, Fineview, Friendship, Friends of the Riverfront, Garfield, Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Greenfield's Bigelow Overlook Dump Cleanup, Hays, Hazelwood, Highland Park, Homewood (3), Knoxville, Larimer, Lawrenceville (3), Lincoln-Lemington, Lincoln Place, Lower Hill, Manchester, Mexican War Streets, Middle Hill, Mt. Oliver, Mt. Washington, New Homestead, Oakland (4), Observatory Hill, Paddling Without Pollution, Perry South, Perry South Dump Cleanup, Pittsburgh Cares, ServePgh, PA Resources Council, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Pitt-Ohio Express, Polish Hill, Ridgemont, RSVP (Pittsburgh Cares), Schenley Heights, Shadyside, Sheraden, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, South Point Breeze, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, South Side Park, Southside Riverfront Park, Spring Garden, Spring Hill, Spring Hill Dumpsite Cleanup, St. Clair, Squirrel Hill (2), Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition Litter Patrol, Stanton Heights, Strip District, Summer Hill, Swisshelm Park, The Academy School, Troy Hill, Uptown, Westwood and Windgap.

Allegheny County: Adopt-a-Highway Rodi Road, Allison Park Sportsman's Club, Aspinwall, Avalon, Avalon Now, Bellevue, Brentwood, Carlynton School District, Carrie Furness Tireless Cleanup, Carnegie, Collier, Crafton. Dormont, Dravosburg, Duquesne, Duquesne Trashbashers, East McKeesport, Etna, Friends of North Park, Franklin Park, Frick Park Spring Stream Sweep, Friends of South Park, Forest Hills, Fox Chapel, Harrison (Natrona Comes Together Association), Harmar, Heidelberg, Hollow Oak Land Trust, Indiana, Keep Collier Beautiful Committee, Leetsdale, Mt. Oliver, McKees Rocks, Moon, Monroeville, Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, North Area Environmental Council, North Fayette, North Versailles, Oakdale, PennDOT, Penn Hills, Pine Creek Cleanup, Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, Pittsburgh Trails Advocacy Group, Rankin, Ross, Shaler, Sharpsburg, South Fayette, South Park, Stowe, Dickson School Tree Care, Kelly School Tree Care, Swissvale, Tri-State Trout Club, Turtle Creek, Verona, West View, White Oak, Wilkins, Wilkins Township Seniors and Century Club, Wilkinsburg Coal Street Tree Care, Wilmerding and Winchester Drive Neighborhood.

Beaver County: Beaver, Beaver City Parks, Big Beaver, Bradys Run Park, Brighton, Centre (Aliquippa), Friendship Circle, Independence Conservancy, Monaca, New Horizon School, Patterson and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 862.

Butler County: City of Butler and Butler Junior High School.

Washington County: Canton, Carroll, Cross Creek, Mingo Creek (Nottingham), Peters, Peters Township Environmental Quality Board, City of Washington and Washington County Abate and The White Family.

Westmoreland County: Academy Hill Historic District (Greensburg), 8th Annual Latrobe Corridor Cleanup, 9th Annual Great Ligonier Cleanup, Bolivar, Darcee, Darlington, Derry, Friends of Smithton Memorial Clean Up, Jeannette, Laughlintown, Loyalhanna Lake, Loyalhanna Watershed Association, Murrysville Lions Club, North Huntington, Rector, Stahlstown, St. Vincent College, Smithton, Troop 251, Unity, US Army Engineers, Waterford, Wilpen and Youngwood.

Dates set for fall Redd Up with PMADD

The fall Redd Up dates will be October 17-19. Pitt Make a Difference Day will be Saturday, October 18. That's the day busloads of student volunteers from the University join local volunteers in many Pittsburgh neighborhoods and Allegheny County communities for a day of service involving litter cleanup and beautification projects. "More information will follow," said Boris Weinstein, "but identifying the dates now is important for community calendars." Pitt Make a Difference Day has partnered with Citizens Against Litter since 2008 and has brought thousands of Pitt volunteers into our neighborhoods.

Joe Bonadio is in good company

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported last month that Pittsburgh City Council honored Joe Bonadio with a proclamation for decades of volunteer work in his Beechview neighborhood. The proclamation praises 90-year-old Bonadio for maintaining seven city lot gardens and regularly cleaning streets. The Pittsburgh area is blessed to have many like Joe Bonadio who step up and keep their communities litter-free. Said Joe, "To tell you the truth, I don't know why they gave me this proclamation, because all I do is take care of my street."

Brookline's Edgebrook Dump disappearing

The following originated from Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak's District 4 Newsletter (Feb.) and appeared in the Brookline neighborhood newsletter for March.

"Allegheny CleanWays DumpBuster program has made significant progress at the Edgebrook Avenue work site. Over January and February, with a total of 141 volunteer hours, they've removed almost 2,000 tires! Their work will continue into the spring to get the remaining tires and trash. Cleaning up this dump site is not just about removing trash after the fact, but also about preventing the potential for dumping. My office is working with Missy Rosenfeld, the anti-litter coordinator, to find locations for security cameras, funded by local foundation grants, to discourage littering in the future.

"Thanks to Joe Divack and all the folks with the DumpBuster program, which was recently profiled by Unsung: The Non-Profit News Show? Check out the piece on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XvmJwkvYDE.

"Of course, Edgebrook Ave. is also known for being a narrow, woodsy road that sees way more vehicle traffic than it can handle. In many places, Edgebrook is deteriorating, and natural springs have even been known to pop up out of the asphalt. It goes without saying that potholes are a problem here, too. For all these reasons, Edgebrook Ave. is a #1 priority for my office and the new mayoral administration's Public Works Department. Volunteers are needed now through the spring and summer."

Hollow Oak needs volunteers

Hollow Oak Land Trust is looking for at least 20 volunteers to help plant 160 native trees and scrubs on April 19 at the Montour Woods Conservation Area. The work is planned along Meeks Run stream in the conservative area in Moon, and Hollow Oak leaders say it may be the largest habitat restoration project the trust has undertaken. Details are at http://www.paconserve.org/300.

Monaca does more than two Redd Ups

Patty Majors from Monaca shares an update:

"Monaca in Beaver County will again be participating. However our major spring clean up will most likely take place at the end of March or early in April. Our Redd Up program continues as needed from March through November, usually once a month along roadways and twice a week in our borough. This involves trash pickup along roadsides and maintenance of sustainable plantings in our borough's streetscape islands and parks along with general maintenance of the downtown business district. We have 8 adult volunteers and utilize help from youth on community service."

Beaver County tireless days

Victoria Michaels writes in with an upcoming event:

"Independence Conservancy in Beaver County has two community tire collections confirmed for this spring. There will probably be two more also. Here's a link to the schedule on our website: http://bit.ly/1ffzmvC

"Since this program's inception in 2004, we've properly disposed of 32,457 tires and wheels from municipalities in four western PA counties."

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 the next two years. For information call 412-255-2280 or e-mail servepgh@pittsburghpa.gov.

DumpBusters training

Allegheny CleanWays DumpBusters have cleared illegal dumpsites all over the city -- including a few in Polish Hill. They're always looking for more volunteers to help with this physically demanding work. Contact them for detail about registering for training and volunteering at 412-381-1301 or myrna@alleghenycleanways.org.

Report mailbox graffiti

Pittsburgh Postmaster Dan Davis invites citizens to be proactive and call the Postal Service 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.

"61 free Sunday PGs littered my block"

A self-described "frustrated litter hater" shares his opinion on the Post-Gazette Sunday Extra, a monthly winner of our "I Litter" awards:

"The night of the Oscars I picked up 61 Post Gazette free Sunday papers littering my block. How can I make it clear (to them) that this is totally unacceptable?

"I live in the 200 block of S. St Clair St. in East Liberty and there are only 20 houses on my street. I personally have unsubscribed from this paper 3 times, but they only stopped delivering it after I quite literally handed the paper back to the delivery person one Sunday morning and asked them not to deliver to my residence."

"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. March's top litterers are the Post-Gazette Sunday Extra (natch) 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 Garbagevilles in Shadyside 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.

Great Litter Count in the UK

In a two week period in February, counters in Britain went through streets, gutters and alleys, up and down hills and dales and came up UK's top littering brands for 2011. We picked off the list from the This Week in Litterland, a Canadian newsletter. Their list is not too much different than what counters would find in the U.S. Here goes: McDonald's (13%), Cadbury (6%), Greggs (6%), Wrigley (5%), Coca Cola (5%), Mars (5%), Unbranded pizza, fish & chips, kebob boxes (5%), Cigarettes: Marlboro, Philip Morris (4%), Lambert and Butler Imperial (4%), Tobacco (3%), Subway (3%).

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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