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Citizens Against Litter

November 2014 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Last month's Redd Up results; Litter matters, or does it?; Spotlight on Shadyside's Ellsworth Ave.; Spring 2015 Redd Up dates: April 24-26; Sign up to adopt a Redd Up Zone; Report mailbox graffiti; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Important phone numbers; Redd Up game day; The last word

Our mission

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

Last month's Redd Up results

From reports we've received it looks like 9,000 volunteers participated in 150 to 200 communities and places and they collected about 175 tons of litter and trash, plus tires and other discards.

Litter matters, or does it?

OK where do we go from here?

Last month -- and it's not surprising after ten years of Redd Ups -- neighborhood volunteers with great helping hands from Pitt and Duquesne students removed several hundred tons of litter from hundreds of Pittsburgh neighborhoods and Allegheny County communities. Mr. Litterman estimates the turnout of 9,000 volunteers for four hours. At $22.50 for a volunteer's worth per hour, volunteers contributed about $800,000 worth of labor. Over 3,200 Pitt Make a Difference Day volunteers serviced about 100 sites. "Redd Ups are great and the volunteers who give their time go beyond dollar and cents measurements," said Boris Weinstein of Citizens Against Litter. "But Redd Ups tackle only one of the four causes of litter -- everyday street litter."

Last month, a North Sider, a citizen against litter who picks up litter regularly with a grabber and 5-gallon bucket, asked Mayor Peduto in a Post-Gazette letter to the editor when he's going to do something about one of his campaign promises. He wrote: "(An incident) reminds me of a promise that Bill Peduto made last fall when he was soliciting my vote for mayor -- that he would do something about the litter problem in the city. That was enough to get my vote. But I haven't seen any evidence that the (litter) problem is being addressed (by the city). Recognizing that there may be bigger problems in the 'Burgh, I still am waiting the mayor's response to the litter problem."

Mr. Litterman's been waiting as well for the Mayor to take action on an anti- litter program that's been on his To Do List since last January. It's a one-neighborhood pilot program of Zero Litter Enforcement -- a coordinated effort by Public Works, Public Safety, Bureau of Building Inspection, Urban Redevelopment Authority and city magistrates to battle all four causes of neighborhood litter -- illegal dumpsite dumpers, littered business district storefronts, overflowing, uncovered and inadequate waste containers in single and multi dwelling residences and businesses, and everyday litter.

ENFORCEMENT is the operative word. If the city can get a handle on litter in one neighborhood initially we just might have a workable plan to better control and eliminate litter city-wide. It will not happen overnight. The Mayor has to publicly endorse the program and get it started. Right now, targeting the causes of litter is not a priority with the city.

Full details of the plan are on the Citizens Against Litter website at http://bit.ly/ZeroLitterEnforcement.

Spotlight on Shadyside's Ellsworth Ave.

And you probably thought Shadyside was squeaky clean? Wrong. Mr. Litterman was on the street picking up litter during the Fall Redd Up Oct 18.

He picked up some litter at 5535 Ellsworth Ave. except for a pile of dog do "packaged" inside individual plastic bags in full view on the ground by the porch.

Behind nearby apartment buildings at 5525 and 5527 Ellsworth Ave. is an always presence garbage mess of overflow, uncovered and inadequate containers. Mr. Litterman picked up most of this litter as well.

These messes were reported to City Councilman Dan Gilman with the suggestion to bring the problem to the attention of the Bureau of Building Inspection and Public Works Environmental Services and put an end to this everyday garbage mess. Gilman's Office is in the process of working with the city departments to correct the problems. The result could be that the intersection of St. James Street and Japonica Way will be less littered with flyaway trash from open and inadequate waste containers.

Spring 2015 Redd Up will be April 24-26

Planning for the Spring 2015 Redd Up has begun. Please circle the dates for next April 24-26 on your calendar. The dates do not conflict with Easter on April 5 or Passover, April 3-11. Earth Day 2015 is Wednesday, April 22.

North Side's East Allegheny and Penn Hill's Crescent Hills and Lincoln Park are the first neighborhoods to sign up for the Spring 2015 Redd Up. Others signing up early are: Carrick, Garfield, Stanton Heights, Larimer, Brookline, Homewood, Mexican War Streets, South Side Flats, Sheraden, Shadyside and Middle Hill in the City and West View, Collier, Dormont and McKees Rocks in Allegheny County. Communities are asked to contact boris.weinstein@verizon.net to make this another outstanding Redd Up.

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. October's top litterer is the Post-Gazette Sunday Extra. Another litterer is Tootie's for distributing flyers house-to-house which turn into street litter.

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.

Redd Up game day

This from Missy Rosenfeld in Carrick:

"We had a great day with Pitt (volunteers). I tried a new spin out on Pitt students to make our litter pick up more interesting. I had a litter scavenger hunt. They loved it!"

Carrick volunteers collected a half ton of 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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