During a rally at the now safe, clean and vibrant Market Square, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Councilwoman Theresa Smith and the Pennsylvania Resources Council launched a litter prevention campaign and called on residents to join in on the grassroots movement to keep Pittsburgh's turf the cleanest in America.
To help in the fight against trash, the city has hired a full-time anti-litter coordinator. Missy Rosenfeld of Carrick, an active community member who has organized graffiti and litter clean-ups in her neighborhood, will help connect more residents with available anti-litter resources. In addition, the Mayor has directed police officials to ramp up their surveillance efforts to catch and convict illegal dumpers.
"Pittsburgh truly is America's Most Livable City largely because of residents who take care of their property and work with neighbors to keep their streets safe and clean," Mayor Ravenstahl said. "We form strong partnerships with our neighbors and community organizations to give them the resources they need to beautify vacant lots and tackle litter. And we've seen great success. This campaign will take our efforts to the next level."
The campaign, called "Don't Trash My Turf!" seeks to build off of the momentum of the mayor's volunteer-fueled ServePGH initiative by encouraging citizens to log on to www.donttrashmyturf.com, where they can be connected with a variety litter-related information including links to volunteer opportunities and local clean-up event schedules.
The mayor outlined the campaign's three-step plan which features a public awareness component via a new website and commercials, increased citizen involvement and increased enforcement. The campaign is a partnership between the Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and the Pennsylvania Resources Council made possible by a grant from Colcom Foundation.
"Education is the key to a cleaner city since littering is a conscious decision people make each and every day," said Mayor Ravenstahl. "The second key component is providing opportunities for people to literally take to the streets and get involved, whether it's encouraging people to pick up trash in front of their homes and businesses or organizing more large-scale community clean ups."
Dave Mazza, Regional Director of the Pennsylvania Resources Council, informed the crowd that litter cleanup costs in the United States total nearly $11.5 billion annually and more than 51 billion pieces of litter land on U.S. roadways each year.
"Litter has enormous consequences, from economic and environmental standpoints in addition to our overall quality of life," said Mr. Mazza. "We look forward to supporting the city's efforts via this comprehensive new campaign."
A component of the Mayor's servePGH intiative organizes neighborhood clean ups. Community groups or businesses adopt Redd Up Zones and hold four clean-ups/year, with the support of the Department of Public Works. Since last October, 39 zones have been formed impacting 474 City blocks through the collection of 6040 pounds of litter.
Public awareness efforts include a series of "Don't Trash My Turf!" television and radio commercials featuring Mayor Ravenstahl, football star Emmanuel Sanders, radio personality/business owner Bubba and other local celebrities.
For more information, contact the Pennsylvania Resources Council at 412-488-7490 x246 or visit www.DontTrashMyTurf.org.