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Citizens Against Litter

June 2016 Newslitter

In this newsletter: Our mission; Bob Award winners announced; CPC annual report covers many bases; Allegheny County Cleanup Day June 26; Fall Redd Up/Pitt Make a Difference Day October 22; Volunteers needed for community gardens; PRC accepting discarded TVs in Allegheny County; Westmoreland CleanWays takes TVs too; Report mailbox graffiti; "I Litter" awards; Shadyside garbagevilles non-list; Important phone numbers; Pickup pledge; The last word

Our mission

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

Bob Award winners announced

A number of volunteers, community groups and neighborhoods were honored at the May 19th Clean Pittsburgh Commission's (CPC) Meet and Greet Mixer at the 26th Street Market & Deli with the annual "Bob Awards" for their efforts to beautify city neighborhoods. The awards, a tribute to the late Mayor Bob O'Connor and his dedication to cleaning up the city, were created to recognize local efforts to clean-up, prevent and eliminate litter in City neighborhoods. Awards were presented by Councilman Corey O'Connor and Judy O'Connor.

Awards for 2015 included Volunteer of the Year, which is given to one volunteer each year whose service is exemplary in cleaning and greening. It encompasses not only the actual work done, but also the volunteer's ability to mobilize his/her community, incorporate city resources, and in general raise the profile of clean and green work done in their community. The winner is Volunteer of the Year is Ed Gergerich.

Ed is a long time resident of Brighton Heights who volunteers up to 20 hours per week to keep his neighborhood clean and its gardens looking beautiful. His fellow neighbors had the following to say about Ed:

"Ed is a person who makes his community his first priority." "Ed has been an influencing and positive volunteer for the neighborhood of Brighton Heights." "Ed exemplifies former Mayor O'Connor's dedication to and passion for inspiring all of Pittsburgh neighbors. He is someone who has done so much to make Brighton Heights a cleaner more beautiful neighborhood."

"The Clean Pittsburgh Commission is proud to acknowledge such a dedicated volunteer and resident as Ed," said Sarah Alessio Shea, CPC chairwoman.

The CPC presented the Bob Award for Neighborhood of the Year to Carrick. This award is given to a neighborhood that routinely works on clean and green initiatives. For this award, the commission looks at collaboration among community organizations and residents, active clean and green initiatives in the community, and work with other local environmental organizations. Carrick is committed to keeping its neighborhood clean. In addition to a large scale clean up in October with students from the University of Pittsburgh, clean ups are organized and carried out the last Wednesday of every month. During these cleanups, community members gather to tackle locations deemed by the residents as the dirtiest spots. Carrick also holds a large-scale Earth Day clean-up effort and hits every street.

The "Bob Awards" are a highlight of the CPC's annual event honoring local neighborhood leaders who go above and beyond to make their neighborhoods better places to live.

CPC annual report covers many bases

The Meet & Greet Mixer is also a time for the Clean Pittsburgh Commission to highlight its work over the past year by presenting its Annual Report which details the activities involving litter prevention, illegal dumping, graffiti, and recycling. The 2015 report is accessible online at The report highlights CPC's efforts in the current Neighborhoods of Focus in Beltzhoover, Allentown and Knoxville. Highlights of 2015 in the report are:

Allegheny County Cleanup Day June 26

Sunday, June 26 will be a third litter cleanup event -- the Allegheny County Cleanup Day. County Council passed a resolution for this event last year. The resolution read in part, "Allegheny has a longstanding and robust history of fostering initiatives to promote sustainability, natural beauty and a clean environment in which its residents may work and live in aesthetically pleasing and healthy communities." The resolution calls upon "volunteers to get involved in projects that focus on landscaping, maintenance, refuse removal and other beautification efforts."

There are 4 cities, 42 townships and 86 boroughs in Allegheny County. The County covers 745 square miles (including Pittsburgh's 55). The population is 1.2 million (including Pittsburgh's 305,000). ### 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, 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 and Uptown,

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

Volunteers needed for community gardens

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is looking for additional volunteers to "adopt" a garden to regularly prune, water, seed and remove litter and debris during the spring and summer. "Garden stewards" are needed to give regular attention to the 130 community gardens that have been planted this spring. On average, a steward volunteers for two hours each week.

The Conservancy currently has 109 garden stewards but needs at least eight more to help maintain gardens in Beechview, Downtown Pittsburgh, Northside, Hill District, South Side, Polish Hill, Carnegie and Green Tree. Contact Lynn McGuire-Olzak at or call 412-566-2324.

PRC accepting discarded TVs in Allegheny County

The state's DEP's recent decision to allow fee-based programs to recycle televisions and other covered electronic devices has enabled PRC to resume collecting televisions at its Hard-to-Recycle events. PRC charges a fee to cover the cost of recycling.

The remaining schedule for upcoming Hard-to-Recycle events in Allegheny County is Saturday, June 25 at ANSYS in Canonsburg; Saturday, July 30 at North Allegheny Senior High School; Saturday, Aug. 20 at Century III Mall in West Mifflin; and Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Mall in Robinson.

Visit for more information.

Westmoreland CleanWays taking TVs too

Westmoreland CleanWays Recycling Center in Unity accepts televisions in its recycling program in Westmoreland County. "We and our recycling partner, JVS Environmental, are committed to serving our communities with a convenient recycling option for your unwanted electronics, as the law intended," said Ellen Keefe, executive director of Westmoreland Cleanways. "We have the support of our county commissioners and other funders to keep the program alive. Everyone is welcome; you don't have to be a resident of Westmoreland County to recycle with us."

Located in Innovative Park near Beatty Crossroads, the recycling center is open from noon to 5 p.m. Mondays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays and 8:30 a.m. to noon the second Saturday of every month to accept televisions and all other electronics at no charge. The recycling center accepts Freon appliances, tires and fluorescent tube light bulbs for a fee.

Scrap metal, used motor oil, batteries of all kinds, cardboard and mixed paper can be recycled at no charge. Call 724-531-1912 or visit for more information.

Report mailbox graffiti

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. May's top litterer continues to be the Post-Gazette Sunday Extra free advertising circular.

Shadyside Garbagevilles non-list

For years there has been a place in the Newslitter for what we call "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.

Mr. Litterman recently toured the places that have been on the list for a long time. The good news is the list has all but least for now. For example, the pile of earth that has been in the side drive of 5238 Ellsworth Ave. is gone (a car was parked in this space). Dumpster Alley, AKA Comet Way, (behind Walnut Street stores) has been cleaned up. The alley looks much better.

The overflow mess behind 5525-27 Ellsworth Ave apartments appears to be under control so the alley intersecting at S. Graham St. is relatively litter-free. The apartments' waste containers are better maintained. A few of the houses in the 600 and 700 blocks of Bellefonte St. are pretty much clear of litter. We're keeping an eye on Bruegger's (S. Aiken), the object of citizen complaints in the past to Mr. Litterman and Councilman Dan Gilman's office, and hoping that employees continue to keep the side and back litter-free. We'll keep looking for problem places and re-start a new list of Garbagevilles when necessary.

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.

Pickup pledge

From the "This Week in Litterland" newsletter we learned recently that North Texans are signing up for "Ten on Tuesday," a pledge to pick up ten pieces of litter every Tuesday. The initiative covers Dallas, Denton and Fort Worth. More than 20,000 have registered. It's part of the on-going "Don't Mess with Texas" anti-litter campaign.

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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