Keep America Beautiful (KAB) presented Pittsburgh resident Boris Weinstein with its top volunteer honor when he was presented the 2013 Iron Eyes Cody Award during KAB’s 2014 National Conference in Charlotte, N.C.
The Iron Eyes Cody Award was created in honor of KAB’s landmark public awareness campaign of the 1970s, which is credited with awakening the environmental consciousness of an entire generation of Americans. This award is given to a man who demonstrates exceptional leadership in raising public awareness about litter prevention, roadside and community beautification, solid waste issues, and the need for citizens to participate in activities that preserve and enhance natural resources. This year’s recipient was honored for his dedication to preventing litter and beautifying Pittsburgh.
“If anyone epitomizes the spirit of Iron Eyes Cody, it is Pittsburgh anti-litter hero, Boris Weinstein,” said Keep America Beautiful president and CEO Jennifer Jehn. “Boris, without a doubt, a leader in the fight to prevent litter, beautify our communities, and motivate citizens to take action in their own communities.”
Mr. Weinstein’s involvement in litter prevention dates back to 1970, when his marketing firm developed the anti-litter marketing campaign for Pittsburgh Mayor Pete Flaherty. He coined the phrase, “For Pete’s Sake,” which was used on waste containers during Mayor Flaherty’s administration.
Years later, he started a volunteer-based organization – Citizens Against Litter – with the goal of inspiring people to “Collect Litter and Connect Neighborhoods.” He started the effort in 2005 in his neighborhood of Shadyside. Eventually, Mr. Weinstein was became a member and, ultimately, chair of Pittsburgh’s 15-member Clean Pittsburgh Commission.
By 2006, he started working with community leaders in the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Homewood and Squirrel Hill to form a “Redd Up” Coalition. The coalition created a one-day event in the fall, which grew to include five neighborhoods and involve nearly 1,000 volunteers. Mr. Weinstein estimates his spring and fall annual cleanup events has led to as many as 250 communities collecting more than 300 tons of trash in the past seven years.
“My life in retirement mirrors many of the Keep America Beautiful principals,” Mr. Weinstein said upon accepting the award. “I work to rid us of litter. I work for a cleaner environment. I believe one person can make a difference.
“Citizens Against Litter’s mission is to inspire residents of the Pittsburgh area to collect litter and connect neighborhoods,” he added. “Keep America Beautiful sees millions of Americans who take small actions that bring about a world of change. I believe I am one of those Americans.”
Keep America Beautiful has honored 20 men with this award since 1988. The Keep America Beautiful National Awards program also honors women with the Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson Award, as well as many business, civic and nonprofit agencies in other categories.