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Citizens Against Litter

July 2016 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Rwanda's world-class example for us here; Whitehall boy scouts cleanup job on South Side; Report from the PCRG Summit; Connoquenessing cleanups set; Final report on PA's 2015 Great American cleanup; Results of Ohio River Sweep June 18 being compiled; Fall Redd Up/ Pitt Make a Difference Day October 22; Report mailbox graffiti; "I Litter" awards; 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.

Rwanda's world-class example for us here

From Jim Heinrich, Stanton Heights Clean Pittsburgh steward, recently back from a trip to the country of Rwanda in Africa.

On the last Saturday of each month, the citizens of Kigali, Rwanda, take part in a compulsory litter pickup in the morning. The president, Paul Kagame, takes part in the cleanups, setting an example for the rest of the nation.

"Umuganda" -- which literally means "community service" -- has resulted in Rwanda becoming one of the cleanest countries in the world. The community cleanups have helped unite the nation after the 1994 genocide.

Rwanda has also banned the manufacture and use of plastic bags, and in Kigali. It's illegal to litter.

Can you imagine what Pittsburgh would look like if our government made litter cleanup a priority? In this respect, we could learn from Rwanda's example.

Whitehall boy scouts cleanup job on South Side

Under the leadership of Assistant Scout Master Andrew Hebson, Jr., Boy Scouts Troop 210 of Whitehall joined the South Side Chamber of Commerce to spruce up the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at S. 18th and E. Carson Streets on Saturday, June 4.

The Scouts cleaned the memorial, replanted plants in the big urns and cleaned up the surrounding sidewalks and parking lot. They also cleaned up litter along E. Carson St. and the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.

Troop 210 is sponsored by Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Whitehall and has over 30 scouts from Baldwin, Brookline, Jefferson Hills, Pleasant Hills, and Whitehall. Troop 210 is active in the Eagle Valley District (Area1) of the Laurel Highlands Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Report from the PCRG summit

The Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group's 2016 Community Development Summit is over. Attendees -- practitioners, financial sponsors, organizers, industry professionals and volunteers working in community development -- have returned to the important work they are doing in their communities.

From the group:

This year's Summit was the most impactful we've ever had, with more topically diverse sessions than any previous year. Keynote speakers from across North America, and three mobile tours that took attendees around the City of Pittsburgh to see community development projects. We gave out 60 scholarships, more than ever before, and dramatically increased the number of sponsors and advertisers who partnered with us.

Attendees described the Summit as "dense with relevant information" as well as "featuring a diversity of community perspectives". It was a "rich and inspiring experience" that inspired "ideas for implementation [of projects] in Pittsburgh."

Summit attendees overwhelmingly agreed that they would like to attend next year and that they would recommend the event to a colleague.

Summit media promotions reached more people than ever before, through Facebook, Twitter, our e-mail newsletter and more. We were also featured in the new Pittsburgh Courier and Next Pittsburgh which helped us gain exposure to the broader Pittsburgh region.

Connoquenessing cleanups set

From Christina Handley, president of Allegheny Aquatic Alliance:

The 5th Annual Connoquenessing Creek Cleanup Celebration will be on August 27 and September 10. This creek was rated the 2nd most polluted waterway in America in 2000 and has remained fairly unchanged until we began this cleanup mission in 2012.

We have successfully removed 202,560 pounds of garbage, including over 2,000 tires in just 30 miles! We still have 20 more miles to go. The more volunteers we have, the more garbage that can be removed!

This year we are focusing on a 10 mile stretch, starting in Harmony and ending in Fombell. This is the first year that we are focusing on Butler and Beaver Counties. With your help we will clean up this precious waterway from its current deplorable state! The more volunteers we have the more garbage we can remove! This major cleanup project requires support from the community for its continued success. Our needs include many, many volunteers, trucks, non-motorized boats, refreshments, food, shovels, winches, rope, chains, leather work gloves, small tractors, good creek accesses, hip waders, etc. All volunteers will be provided with a t-shirt, lunch, and be invited to the celebration party with food, drink, and live music on September 24. Join us!

Final report of PA's 2015 Great American cleanup

All 67 counties in Pennsylvania were represented in the 2015 (correct) Great American Cleanup in our state. In total, the report said there were almost 5,000 events with 128,000 volunteers. Volunteers collected over 6 million pounds of trash. They cleared 12,000 miles of roads, railroad tracks, waterways, and shorelines and 6,500 acres of parks and/or wetlands. Additionally volunteers planted 13,000 trees, bulbs and plants.

Results of 2016 Ohio River Sweep June 18 being compiled

It may be late August until results of the 2016 Ohio River Sweep are available. This year's event took place on June 18. In a pre-sweep article that appeared in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review a spokesperson for the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) was quoted as saying "When we started 26 years ago we were pulling out refrigerators. It's now mainly trash from people recreating on the rivers. Last year volunteers cleaned up more than 500 tons of trash along 3,000 miles of shoreline."

Fall Redd Up and Pitt Make a Difference Day October 22

Mark your calendars. The 2016 date for the fall Redd Up and Pitt Make a Difference Day will be Saturday, October 22. Some 3,500 Pitt student volunteers participated in 2015. The office of Pittserves at the university manages the event which involves Pittsburgh neighborhoods and Allegheny County communities. Citizens Against Litter assisted Pitt in managing the event when it began in 2008. The event has become one of nation's largest MADD community service projects. For information contact or call 412-624-1065.

Among early signups for the October Redd Up event in Pittsburgh neighborhoods and groups are: Bon Air, Brighton Heights, Carrick, Chartiers, Duquesne University, East Allegheny, Friends of the Riverfront, Garfield, Hays, Homewood, Lincoln Place, Lower Hill, Morningside, Mount Washington, Neighbors on the Mount, New Homestead, Perry Hilltop, Shadyside, Sheraden, South Side Flats, South Side Slopes, Spring Hill, Stanton Heights, Troy Hill, Windgap and Uptown.

Allegheny County neighborhood and group signups are: Collier, Fox Chapel, Heidelberg, Mt. Lebanon, Scott and South Park.

Report mailbox graffiti

The Pittsburgh Postal Service 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. July's top litterer continues to be the Post-Gazette Sunday Extra free advertising circular.

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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