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Citizens Against Litter

June 2014 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Polishing Polish Hill; Brookline's little guys say "Don't trash me"; Morningside's awesome Redd Up; Carrie Furnace cleaning; Paddle Without Pollution news; "We're watching you"; Early signups for Oct. 18 Redd Up; Zero litter enforcement urged; Sign up for a Redd Up zone; ServePgh's 3-year impact; Report mailbox graffiti; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Banned in Frisco; The last word

Our mission

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

Polishing Polish Hill

Like many of the city's neighborhoods, Polish Hill is a leader with year 'round attention to projects to keep its neighborhood clean.

In the May Polish Hill newsletter Mr. Litterman spotted a call for volunteers to plant up West Penn Park on May 27. There was another item inviting residents to participate in the city's yard debris special collection on May 17. A third item deals with scheduling cleanups all year. Green Team coordinator Valerie Testa is working on a schedule of spring and summer volunteer events, including neighborhood cleanups and green space maintenance. To get on the contact list to help she suggests responses by email to valerie@phcapgh.org.

Brookline's little guys say "Don't trash me"

[The article below, written by Dan Kaczmarski, will appear in the June issue of The Brookline and is reprinted here by permission.]

Who knew fighting litter could be so much fun?

On Saturday, May 10, the Brookline Memorial Recreation Center was awash with color and crafts in a youthful assault on trashy streets and sidewalks.

The feature of the day was the awards ceremony for local school-aged artists who took part in the second annual Brookline anti-litter artwork contest. They received their awards in the Rec Center gym, which was transformed into a vibrant art gallery with a pointed message -- "Don't Trash Our Neighborhood."

Down the hall, the Rec Center activities room was a lively hub of busy hands and creative minds as a steady stream of Brookline youth took the opportunity to turn trash into art. The young people, joined by more than a few adults, used recycled materials such as tin cans, egg cartons, baby food jars, and empty water bottles to create stunning flower displays, musical instruments, robots, sand art, and a half dozen other projects.

Silently watching the buzz of activity was an ingenious oversized robot created by Brennon, Amy and Brian Lambert. The robot was a popular photo op, second only to the 7-foot Pittsburgh litterbug, who was on his best behavior, circulating amiably among the crowd, taking hugs from young people, and promising to change his ways.

Sponsored by the South Pittsburgh Development Corporation, the event was made possible by the very generous support of the Brookline Area Community Council, the Brookline Chamber of Commerce, Pittsburgh Citiparks, the offices of City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak and State Representative Erin Molchany and local donors.

Besides crafts and awards, attendees took home eco-friendly giveaways courtesy of ALCOSAN (which also led a craft project), Pennsylvania Resources Council, Allegheny CleanWays, Salon Canova, Indigo Wild and private donations. Drawings were held for passes donated by the Heinz History Center, certificates to Le Cupcake Shoppe and Scoops on the Boulevard, and bobblehead litterbugs provided by PRC.

It was refreshing and encouraging to see Brookline's youth take a stand against littering. The kids seem to get the message that we're all in this together. The next time you're tempted to drop an empty cup or cigarette pack on the sidewalk, think of your neighbors young and old and put it in a trashcan. "Let's make Brookline the cleanest neighborhood in the city!"

ARTWORK CONTEST WINNERS

SCHOOL OVERALL BEST

Brookline PreK-8: Best Poster-Size - Xavier Corrie
Brookline Regional Catholic - Sydney Carr
Brookline Regional Catholic: Best Poster-Size - Ben Pasquarelli
West Liberty PreK-5 - Breanna Stowe
Home Schooled - Lillia N. Born

FIRST PLACE

Kindergarten
Ben Pasquarelli - Brookline Regional Catholic

1st Grade
Xavier Corrie - Brookline PreK-8
Gina Maola - Brookline Regional Catholic
Breanna Stowe - West Liberty PreK-5

2nd Grade
Caitlin Mooney - Brookline Regional Catholic
Danielle Kohr - West Liberty PreK-5
Lillia N. Born - Home Schooled

3rd Grade
Bain Knapick - Brookline Regional Catholic

4th Grade
Kylee Cerminara - Brookline Regional Catholic
Ashlynn Bushmen - West Liberty PreK-5

5th Grade
Sydney Carr - Brookline Regional Catholic
Jessica Schmidt - West Liberty PreK-5

6th Grade
Laina Wilson - Brookline Regional Catholic

7th Grade
Nicholas Wittman - Brookline Regional Catholic

8th Grade
Carmen Wilson - Brookline Regional Catholic

SECOND PLACE

Kindergarten
James Wagner - Brookline Regional Catholic

1st Grade
Nico Giampa - Brookline PreK-8
Bridget Gabriel - Brookline Regional Catholic
Chelsea Kohr - West Liberty PreK-5

2nd Grade
Kiara Cerminara - Brookline Regional Catholic
Danielle Swearingen - West Liberty PreK-5

4th Grade
Nathan Wittman - Brookline Regional Catholic
Kevin Ayers - West Liberty PreK-5

5th Grade
Amanda Santora - Brookline Regional Catholic

6th Grade
Juliana Gahr - Brookline Regional Catholic

7th Grade
Patrick Dobbins - Brookline Regional Catholic

8th Grade
McKenzie Brooks - Brookline Regional Catholic

THIRD PLACE

2nd Grade
Abby Santora - Brookline Regional Catholic
Alexis Stowe - West Liberty PreK-5

4th Grade
Grace Warner - Brookline Regional Catholic
Milena Yochus - West Liberty PreK-5

5th Grade
Slozue McCensky - Brookline Regional Catholic

HONORABLE MENTION

Jacob Dobbins - Brookline Regional Catholic
Elizabeth Dugan - West Liberty PreK-5
Kathryn Esch - Brookline Regional Catholic
Chloe Fischer - West Liberty PreK-5
Collin Gabriel - Brookline Regional Catholic
Samuel Jones - Brookline Regional Catholic
Ennui Knapick - Brookline Regional Catholic
Kayleigh McDermott - West Liberty PreK-5
Delancey Work - Brookline Regional Catholic

Morningside's awesome Redd Up

[Lisa Petrilli is Clean Pittsburgh Steward for the Redd Up in Morningside. She had these inspiring words for her neighbors.]

Thank you to everyone who participated or helped to make it happen! I/we couldn't have done it without you!

I would also like to thank PennDOT, Allegheny CleanWays and the City of Pittsburgh for your generous donations of gloves, vests and trash bags and helping to coordinate our efforts to make Morningside, and the City of Pittsburgh, an awesome, beautiful place to live!

Because I didn't get an email from every registered participant, please pass along my "Thank you" to anyone you know that helped but could not be reached via email. Once again working together as a community helps make Morningside the awesome neighborhood that it is! Hope to see you all October 18 for our next clean-up event!

Carrie Furnace cleaning

From the Allegheny CleanWays newsletter:

Our first Tireless Cleanup of the year was held at Carrie Furnace. While no airplane tires were found, we did find a nice kids' car and lots of litter and rusting tires. With 30 volunteers scouring the ground, we removed 100+ bags, 19 tires, and 100 pounds of metal. Each visit to the furnaces reveals new treasures and more trash. Later in the year we hope to tackle the knotweed and end with one final sweep of the riverfront. Unfortunately, the Rachel Carson was still in the shop at the time of the cleanup, but she should be present for all future cleanups. Stay tuned to learn when our next cleanups will be.

Paddle Without Pollution news

So far this year, Paddle Without Pollution's Water Warriors have removed more than 2,000 pounds of litter and dumped debris from Cross Creek Park Lake, Ten Mile Creek and Slippery Rock Creek. Registration is open for these next cleanups now: June 14 at Moraine State Park, Portersville and June 28 on the Allegheny River, Oakmont. Be sure to sign up early if you need to borrow a boat from the PWP fleet. They go quickly. For more information, visit http://www.paddlewithoutpollution.com/.

"We're watching you"

From the Allegheny CleanWays newsletter:

Beware would-be dumper...we're watching you! So far two dumpers have been caught this year thanks to surveillance cameras purchased with a grant from the Allegheny County Conservation District and donated to the City of Pittsburgh. As a result of the success of these initial cameras, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has donated three additional sets of cameras to the city. The high quality, motion activated, covert security cameras provide instant wireless transmission of site activity, photo documentation of license plates at speeds of up to 50 MPH, and clear photos of activity day or night, which are key to prosecutions. We are so grateful for the cameras and for the collaborative effort by everyone involved. Our collective goal is to send a clear message that illegal dumping will not be tolerated in our beautiful city.

Early signups for Oct. 18 Redd Up

Mark your calendars for the fall Redd Up with Pitt Make a Difference Day on Saturday, Oct. 18. Thousands of Pitt student volunteers have been involved with city neighborhoods and area communities in litter cleanups and beautification projects since 2008. Early signups are:

Pittsburgh: Allegheny County Probation Court, Allegheny CleanWays, Arlington, Beechview, Bloomfield, Brighton Heights, Brookline, Carrick, CMU students, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Liberty, Elliott, Fairywood, Friends of the Riverfront, Garfield, Glen Hazel, Hays, Hazelwood, Homewood, Lincoln-Lemington, Lincoln Place, Lower Hill, Mexican War Streets, Middle Hill, Morningside, Mt. Washington, New Homestead, Pitt-Ohio Express, Perry South, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Polish Hill, Oakland, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, Sheraden, Spring Hill, Stanton Heights, Strip District and Swisshelm Park,

Allegheny County: Brentwood, Collier, Dormont, Duquesne, East McKeesport, Forrest Hills, Friends of South Park, Leetsdale, McKees Rocks, Mt. Lebanon, New Kensington, North Versailles, Port Vue, Ross, Sharpsburg, Stowe and West View,

Zero litter enforcement urged

It's time has come. Last January 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. Here are the details submitted by the Public Works Subcommittee. Boris Weinstein and Citizens Against Litter first introduced the plan in an editorial opinion piece published in the Post-Gazette last May.

Subcommittee Name: Public Works

Subcommittee Chairperson(s): Jessica McCurdy

Title of recommendation: Zero Litter Enforcement Pilot Program

Describe the recommendation:

Focus energy and resources in a one neighborhood Pilot Program initially aimed at the FOUR ROOT CAUSES of litter in Pittsburgh.

  1. Illegal dumps

  2. Uncovered and inadequate waste containers at business places and multiple and single dwelling residences

  3. Storefront businesses and property owners who do not clean litter, trash, graffiti and leaves from their properties regularly and ignore removing snow and ice from sidewalks (city code 419.09)

  4. Everyday litter

Is this an immediate or long term recommendation?

Both immediate and long term as noted below. We believe strongly in doing an initial pilot program in one neighborhood in order to work through the initial barriers and end up with a design that works. Then we would roll out that design to other communities as noted below.

Immediate: The Zero Litter Committee (Boris Weinstein, Missy Rosenfeld and Jan Nedin) would benchmark other cities and their successes in this arena. We would propose best practices to be used in the pilot.

There would be three phases to the pilot program:

  1. Phase One would be one neighborhood. The test would be no less than 6 months or as long as one year.

  2. Phase Two would introduce a second and third neighborhood, also for a 6 month to one year test. Neighborhoods in this phase would be from other Council Districts. Meanwhile, the program in Phase One would continue.

  3. In Phase Three one neighborhood from each of the other six Council Districts would enter the test, also for 6 months to one year.

Long term: Within three years a city wide Zero Litter Enforcement Program would be rolled out.

How will this address our challenges or reach our goals?

At the start of the test, a Situation Analysis Report would set specific goals of the program: such things as the number of illegal dumpsites to be visited and monitored by police regularly, the number of retail businesses and the frequency of monitoring visits by police and/or Public Works, the number of rental apartments and monitoring visits regularly by BBI; the count and location of uncovered waste containers (business and residential) and the monitoring frequency by BBI, Public Works and Environmental Services.

Additionally, the Situation Analysis Pre-Test Report would highlight existing ordinances for illegal dumping, prohibiting business and residential uncovered waste containers, spelling out what's expected of storefront owners/businesses to keep their properties clean, and against individual littering.

At the conclusion of the first test, results would be measured against goals and existing ordinance expectation.

It may be necessary to add new codes and update existing ones, unless this cannot be achieved in a timely manner causing a delay in starting the Pilot Program.

What are the obstacles to implementation?

Who needs to be involved?

What will be different if the recommendation is adopted?

There will be an immediate decrease in the amount of new litter and trash in cleaned up dumps, streets in business district will have less litter, uncovered and overflow waste containers will be reduced, "flyaway trash" will be reduced.

Describe any background materials that you consulted

Have other cities implemented this recommendation?

We would research best practices in other cities.

Are there any other considerations?

Although most neighborhoods are involved with twice a year Redd Ups and more neighborhoods have Redd Ups on a more frequent basis, removal of everyday litter will not alone control our litter problems. Monitoring illegal dumps, dealing with the open waste container problem and interfacing with business district storefront owners to reduce street litter are necessary to get a positive handle on the root cause of litter.

This could also be expanded to other types of pickup such as leaf and electronics removal, i.e. other kinds of "litter" that end up polluting the landscape.

Mobile apps can be used by residents to report and address litter and dumpsite problems. (http://www.trashout.me/)

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.

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.

ServePgh's 3-year impact

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. May'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.

Banned in Frisco

San Francisco has become the first major city in the world to ban single-use bottled water. It's a step in the right direction to reduce litter.

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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