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Citizens Against Litter

January 2015 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Beginning our 11th year; Happy New Year; Spring Redd Up getting early support; Great PA spring cleanup results impressive; Adopt a Redd Up Zone; Report mailbox graffiti; "I Litter" awards; Garbagevilles; Welcome to the neighborhood; Important phone numbers; Hang up #1; The last word

Our mission

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

Beginning our 11th year

January begins the 11th year for the Citizens Against Litter Newslitter. If you're counting that's 115 monthly newsletters with a quarter of a million words. We believe that through our e-mail list and pass along distribution, Newslitter reaches about 6,000 people. We've cluttered the mind with some worth-knowing information (and some not) but most of it is intended to be about not cluttering our city with litter. We'll try to keep it going. Please keep reading and passing it forward. We welcome your comments.

Happy New Year

Pittsburghers are thankful that our city is cleaner. As 2015 begins let's re-dedicate ourselves to keeping up our efforts to make our city even cleaner. Easier said than done. It's the litter thing that still needs our collective efforts. Let me cite the ways:

Support our two area-wide Redd Ups, starting with the Earth Day Redd Up April 24-26. It's only January and more than 100 neighborhood and communities groups in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are signed up (see below). We're more than half way to our goal of 200 community groups. Our goal is that Redd Ups this spring will attract 15,000 to 20,000 volunteers, a significant increase to the volunteer turnout last October.

Don't rest on our laurels. If the city is looking cleaner -- as many have told Mr. Litterman -- please remember it didn't get that way by itself. If our neighborhoods are cleaner that's more of a reason to keep it that way by picking up everyday litter around where you live and around your neighborhood.

Let's think, though, beyond everyday litter as the thing that ails us. Everyday litter is only one cause of litter. There are three other huge causes of litter. They all need attention.

Illegal dumping. Allegheny CleanWays, the non-profit group of volunteers that turn dumps around, can use help with cameras and monitoring devices that catch individuals and contractors in the act so illegal dumps never start in the first place.

Unswept store fronts. There was a time -- maybe -- when business district shopkeepers swept their sidewalks and street gutters daily. Most don't to it and we should expect them to start and do their part to make our neighborhoods cleaner.

Waste containers. Eliminate the garbage and litter in the "back of the house." What will help enormously is the cooperation of homeowners, businesses and owners of multi-residential buildings to control their waste with adequate and covered waste containers.

Finally, we need the Peduto administration to make eliminating litter/trash an earlier priority. It's on the Mayor's Things to Do Agenda but it's not happening fast enough. One year ago Citizens Against Litter formally proposed a Zero Litter Enforcement Program test in a single neighborhood. The test would bring Public Works, BBI, Public Safety, the URA and magistrates together addressing litter problems. Full details of the plan are on the Citizens Against Litter website at http://bit.ly/ZeroLitterEnforcement.

Spring Redd Up getting early support

The Spring Redd Up dates are April 24-26. 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, Allegheny County Day Probation, Allegheny West, Arlington, Bedford Dwellings, Beechview, Beltzhoover, Bloomfield, Brighton Heights, Brookline, Bull Elephants, California-Kirkbride, Carrick, Chartiers, Crafton Heights, Crawford- Roberts, Duquesne Heights, Duquesne University, East Allegheny, East Carnegie, East Hills, Elliott, Explorers Club, Fairywood, Free Spirits MC of Pittsburgh, Friendship, Friends of the Riverfront, Garfield, Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Hazelwood, Hays, Highland Park, Hilltop Alliance, Homewood, Larimer, Lawrenceville, Lower Hill, Lincoln Place, Manchester, Mexican War Streets, Middle Hill, Morningside, Mt. Washington, New Homestead, Oakland, Pitt-Ohio Express, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Ridgemont, Schenley Heights, Shadyside, Sheraden, South Oakland, South Side Flats South Side Slopes, Spring Garden/East Deutchtown, Spring Hill, Squirrel Hill, Stanton Heights, Strip District, Summer Hill, Swisshelm Park, Troy Hill, Uptown, Westwood and Windgap.

In Allegheny County: Allison Park Sportsmen's Club, Cheswick, Collier, Coraopolis Women of the Moose, Coraopolis, Cornell High School Key Club, Deer Creek, Dormont, Duquesne, East McKeesport, Etna, Friends of North Park, Fox Chapel, Hampton, Harmar, Indiana, Leetsdale, Lincoln, McKees Rocks, Mt. Lebanon, Monroeville, Moon, Natrona Heights, North Versailles, Oakdale, Paddle Without Pollution, Penn Hills ( including Crescent Hills, Lincoln Park, Penn Hills Development Corp.), Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection, Pine Creek, Pitcairn, Ross, Scott, Shaler, South Fayette, South Park, St. Clair Hospital Green Team, Tri County Trout Club, Verona, Waste Management, West View, Wilkinsburg 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 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.

PA Great Spring Cleanup results impressive

Keep America Beautiful's news release of 2013 results (our latest for the state) for all 67 counties speaks of a huge volunteers' commitment and impressive results. There were 5,000 community events and 138,000 volunteers who removed 6 million pounds of litter/trash. KAB state president Sharon Reiter said "It is their commitment that makes this program successful year after year." The spring cleanup window is wide -- from March through May.

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 nonprofits are often responsible when they put their business on Shadyside streets. There's less of this going on. December's top litterer is the Post-Gazette Sunday Extra.

In Bloomfield, "I Litter" awards go to Papa John's and Mia pizza for their littering on Cedarville Street. We are sure they left their flyers on other streets as well.

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.

Welcome to the neighborhood

One way to get rid of litter is when a business that doesn't clean up around its store goes out of business and a new business comes in. This happened on S. Graham between Baum Boulevard and Centre Avenue when Levin Mattress replaced a movie rental store. That corner is now litter-less.

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.

Hang up #1

After ten years and thousands of phone calls to neighborhood groups asking them to participate in Redd Ups, Mr. Litterman got his first hang up. The voice on the other end thought the call was a pitch for a donation. That's something we don't do. We're only about recruiting volunteers to keep their neighborhoods free 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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