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Citizens Against Litter

December 2014 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Litter icon will be missed; "The best of the best"; Spring Redd Up will be April 24-26; What's old is new again; Pittsburgh is cleaning up its act; Beaver County "retired" tire report; Sign up to adopt a Redd Up Zone; Report mailbox graffiti; "I litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Clever; The last word

Our mission

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

Litter icon will be missed

(The article below, written by Meghan Poisson-DeWitt, appeared in the fall issue of the Squirrel Hill News and is reprinted here with permission.)

Trash Talk: Local Litter Icon Speaks Out
By Meghan Poisson-DeWitt

15,000 bags of trash. That's a rough estimate of how much litter volunteer Ann Rose removed from the streets during her years of outstanding, dedicated service. She and her dog Murray walked the streets of Squirrel Hill almost every day, in all seasons, to pick up after less considerate individuals. Perhaps you're wondering how someone becomes interested in other people's garbage? She was more than happy to explain.

"I just got mad," Ann told us. "There are things in the world you can do something about and there are things you can't do anything about. Considering all the things I got mad about that I couldn't do anything about, I thought, litter is so easy to deal with. You pick it up and it's gone."

When asked why she thought litter was such a problem, Ann replied candidly. "I don't know. I think it's a complex situation. I don't think [Pittsburgh is] any messier than anyone else. I don't think the littering laws are enforced. I don't think the powers that be have the time or the opportunity."

A key member of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition's Litter Patrol, which coordinates a major clean-up each spring, Rose has been a beloved local fixture for nearly ten years. Now retired from her role as a Squirrel Hill's 'trash fairy', she still has a lot of say about litter and volunteering. "You get more out of it than you put in," she said. "You pick up trash long enough; you develop a sense of ownership. I felt like this was my community and I really love it."

So what can you do to help? Ann suggests: "Take care of your own area. Clean up in front of your house, your store. Not just the sidewalk; collect from the curb, whatever's on the street nearby. Just clean it up. It takes three minutes."

For more on our interview with Ann Rose, or to offer your comments, visit our blog at http://bit.ly/12dT5Jp and to learn more about working with the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition's Litter Patrol, email info@shuc.org or call (412) 422-7666.

"The best of the best"

"Ann Rose of Squirrel Hill has been picking up litter about as long as I have," said Mr. Litterman after reading that she is retiring from the street. There are many thousands of thoughtful citizens of Pittsburgh and surrounding communities now picking up litter and many of them have been doing it for a long time. We're a cleaner place because of their efforts. In my dozen years of doing the same and working with hundreds of communities in the area, it's not an overstatement for me to say "Ann Rose is the best of the best." I've been asked hundreds of times, "Who's that women with the blond hair who picks up litter on Forbes Avenue?" I tell them, of course. And I add, "Ann does such a thorough job every day; Forbes is so clean you can eat off the street."

Ann Rose didn't just pick up litter on any old street. She picked up litter on the busiest street in our city's most populated neighborhood for a decade. We need more like her.

Spring Redd Up will be April 24, 25, 26

Please circle these dates for next April: 24, 25, 26. These are the dates for the Spring Redd Up. The dates do not conflict with Easter on April 5 or Passover, April 3-11. Earth Day 2015 is Wednesday, April 22. However, some neighborhoods, like South Side Flats and the Hill District/Uptown, will redd up on April 18 with Duquesne students. Others may choose other dates.

In Pittsburgh, participants so far are: Allegheny CleanWays, Bedford Dwellings, Bloomfield, Brookline, Bull Elephants, Carrick, Chartiers, Crafton Heights, Crawford- Roberts, East Allegheny, Duquesne University, East Carnegie, Fairywood, Free Spirits MC of Pittsburgh, Friendship, Friends of the Riverfront, Garfield, Homewood, Larimer, Lower Hill, Mexican War Streets, Morningside, Middle Hill, Pitt-Ohio Express, Ridgemont, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, Sheraden, South Side Flats, Spring Hill, Squirrel Hill, Stanton Heights, Strip District, Summer Hill, Troy Hill, Uptown, Westwood and Windgap.

In Allegheny County: Cheswick, Collier, Dormont, Duquesne, East McKeesport, Etna, Friends of North Park, Hampton, McKees Rocks, North Versailles, Oakdale, Penn Hills (including Crescent Hills and Lincoln Park), Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection, Shaler, West View and Wilkins.

Communities are asked to contact boris.weinstein@verizon.net to make this another outstanding Redd Up. More than 9,000 volunteers participated in the last Redd Up on October 18. Let's even do better next spring. We need your support. We're getting cleaner because neighborhood groups and individuals care -- littering less and picking up for people who don't care.

What's old is new again

The iconic Keep America Beautiful ad campaign of the 1970's gets the Pittsburgh treatment with an update that shows the best and worst of our city. KDKA-TV began running the PSA. Watch the ad on our website at http://bit.ly/1vaDlBU.

Pittsburgh is cleaning up its act

Following a recent walk from his home in Fineview on the North Side to the Post-Gazette downtown, Brian O'Neill devoted his column on Thanksgiving Day about what he didn't see--much litter. His point: Pittsburgh is cleaning up its act. Read the article here: http://bit.ly/1y8k0SA.

Mr. Litterman wrote Brian afterward:

"Thank you for including my comments in your column. Our city is far from a trashcan. We're looking pretty good these days. Neighborhood groups and individuals are helping themselves turn the corner.

"Now we need the Peduto administration to get behind the plan we proposed of Zero Litter Enforcement, starting with a test in one neighborhood first.

"I guarantee you that with dedicated enforcement of existing ordinances by Public Works, Public Safety, BBI, the URA and cooperation of magistrates our city could become the model and envy of every city in America in a few years.

"Attacking all the causes of litter and reducing and preventing litter are not yet priorities of this administration."

Beaver County report on" retired" tires

From the Raccoon Creek Watershed November newsletter:

"Many thanks to everyone who helped to make the 2014 Community Tire Collection season a huge success! This year's events netted 4,628 worn-out tires and wheels brought in for proper disposal by municipalities, small businesses and private citizens. 2014's total ranks second only to 2005's all-time record of 4776.

"Here are some highlights from the 11-year history of this public service:

  • Biggest one-day collection event: Economy Borough, 5/1/04 - 2,446 tires
  • Smallest one-day event: Rochester Township, 5/19/07 - 10 tires
  • First-ever tire collection event: Brighton Township, 4/17/04 - 250 tires
  • Most collection events in one year: 2008 with 14 events in three counties
  • Grand total since April 2004: 37,085 tires and wheels properly disposed."

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

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.

"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 top litterer is the Post-Gazette Sunday Extra.

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.

Clever

Saw this on the side of an Amtrak auto train car on the way to Florida: 1-877 Skip 1-95.

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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