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Citizens Against Litter

February 2014 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Iron Eyes Cody Award to Mr. Litterman; The Mayor and Mr. Litterman; Zero Litter Enforcement Test advances; Dump site cleanup training March 1; Spring Redd Up signups pass 100; Sign up for a Redd Up Zone; Report mailbox graffiti; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Bus stop litter; "Point it out and pick it up"; 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.

Iron Eyes Cody Award to Mr. Litterman

Our own Boris Weinstein, AKA Mr. Litterman, received a big honor last night. Boris was chosen to receive the "Iron Eyes Cody" award at the Keep America Beautiful national convention in Charlotte, NC. The award, according to KAB, "salutes an outstanding male volunteer for exceptional leadership in raising public awareness about litter prevention, roadside and community beautification, solid waste issues, and the need for citizens to participate in activities that preserve and enhance natural resources and public lands."

Boris joins a list of 20 other men who have won the award since 1988.

Upon winning the award, Boris shared these remarks:

"I?m overwhelmed that I have been chosen for the Keep America Beautiful Iron Eyes Cody Award. My life in retirement mirrors many of the Keep America Beautiful principals. I work to rid us of litter."

"I work for a cleaner environment. I believe one person can make a difference. People who care must pick up for people who litter and don?t care."

Citizens Against Litter?s mission is to inspire residents of the Pittsburgh area to collect litter and connect neighborhoods. Keep America Beautiful sees millions of Americans who take small actions that bring about a world of change. I believe I am one of those Americans."

Don't remember who Iron Eyes Cody is? This YouTube trip down memory lane may help jog your memory.

The Mayor and Mr. Litterman

True story. When Citizens Against Litter was just an idea on paper in 2002, I met with our new mayor, Bill Peduto, then a councilman representing Shadyside. I sought his thoughts and wanted his support before launching a grassroots initiative to eliminate litter in our neighborhood...and eventually in all our neighborhoods. I got more than that. The councilman also offered us $5,000 to fund our new venture. His offer was refused because our need at the time was not funding but support and encouragement from city officials coupled with neighborhood volunteers. Mr. Peduto was behind Citizens Against Litter from the beginning.

We believed then, as we believe now, that citizens picking up everyday litter is not about money. It's about bending and picking up, giving back, wanting cleaner communities and demonstrating community pride, especially in projects where local dollars are hard to come by.

And now, we're asking Mayor Peduto to go to the next level. We want his administration to take on a more challenging initiative -- a one neighborhood pilot program of Zero Litter Enforcement and attack the four root causes of litter in our city.

Zero Litter Enforcement test advances

Last month the Peduto Transition Committee selected Zero Litter Enforcement (in a one neighborhood pilot) as a program to be considered for roll out by the new administration. Boris Weinstein and Citizens Against Litter first introduced the plan in an editorial opinion piece published in the Post-Gazette last May.

Visit our website for a full description of the program, then share your comments.

E-mail info@citizensagainstlitter.org or boris.weinstein@verizon.net. Share your comments with our new mayor. E-mail bill.peduto@pittsburghpa.gov.

Dump site cleanup training set March 1

Important information from Leah Thill, Project Coordinator for Allegheny CleanWays:

Allegheny CleanWays is offering a new 2014 Dump Site Cleanup Training on Saturday, March 1 through the Urban EcoStewards program. For the first time, we will be dedicating the full workshop time to the strategies and special precautions that must be considered when tackling a dump site.

Topics include: Safety, assessments, leadership and volunteer management, special precautions and techniques, disposal resources, stewardship, etc. This training is important for residents, community leaders, and non-profits that are interested in volunteerism and invested in the economic, social, and environmental vitality of our communities.

Our goal is to empower and equip others to clean up dump sites more safely and effectively.

This workshop will be followed by a hands-on Dump Site Practicum on Saturday, March 8 with Allegheny CleanWays staff and regular volunteers. You are encouraged, but not required, to attend.

Spring Redd Ups sign ups pass 100

Dates for the Spring Redd up are Friday, April 25 through Sunday, April 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 on Saturday, April 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 could 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 approaching the 100 mark with three months to go. Is your community among the committed? Let us know.

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, Bon Air, Brighton Heights, Brookline, California-Kirkbride, Carrick, Chartiers, Citizens Against Litter, Crafton Heights, Crawford- Roberts, Downtown, Duquesne Heights, Duquesne University, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Hills, East Liberty, Elliott, Fairywood, Fineview, Friendship, Friends of the Riverfront, Garfield, Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Hays, Hazelwood, Highland Park, Homewood, Knoxville, Larimer, Lawrenceville (3), 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, Pittsburgh Cares, ServePgh, PA Resources Council, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Polish Hill, Ridgemont, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, Sheraden, South Point Breeze, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, Spring Garden, Spring Hill, St. Clair, Squirrel Hill (2), Stanton Heights, Summer Hill, Swisshelm Park, The Academy School, Troy Hill, Uptown, Westwood and Windgap.

Allegheny County: Aspinwall, Bellevue, Brentwood, Carnegie, Collier, Duquesne, East McKeesport, Friends of North Park, Friends of South Park, Forest Hills, Heidelberg, Hollow Oak Land Trust, Mt. Oliver McKees Rocks, North Versailles, PennDOT, Penn Hills, Sharpsburg, South Park, Stowe, Verona, West View, White Oak and Wilmerding.

Washington County: Cross Creek and Mingo Creek (Nottingham)

Westmoreland County: Academy Hill Historic District (Greensburg)

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. Visit the Redd Up Zone website for information and an application.

Report mailbox graffiti

Pittsburgh Postmaster Joseph Meimann 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. January's main 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.

Bus stop litter

A concerned citizen wrote in to share this with us:

"I think that the Port Authority should clean up some of its bus stops. The one I am thinking of is at the corner of Millvale and Center (in Oakland). It is always a mess. Keep up the good work."

"Point it out and pick it up"

The Newslitter received a second complaint about bus stop litter, this one from a mother in Mt. Washington. But it's the advice that my associate, Jake Krohn, suggested to the woman about her part to make her neighborhood cleaner that I want to pass along.

"It sounds like you have a well-established route to the bus stop and back. It would be wonderful if you were to adopt that stretch of your neighborhood as your own and pick up litter as best you can on a regular basis. A lot of people typically just stick a few plastic grocery bags and a pair of gloves in their pocket as they set out and use them to get litter along the way. I have a five-year-old boy and we turn it into a game as we walk along -- he spots the litter and I pick it up."

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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