South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Litter barrels are welcome along Brownsville Road


April 28, 2009

Something new jumped out at me this morning on my daily, five-mile Brownsville Road run through Carrick: litter barrels! Brand new, built-to-last, and sorely needed litter barrels stand in testament to the growing pride and environmental awareness happening in Pittsburgh.

It seems like a small thing, but it's important. Property values, people's attitudes, and neighborhood security all decline when litter goes unchecked. Experts use the analogy of the "first broken window." A vacant house can sit for a long time without being vandalized. But, once that first window gets broken, it quickly gets trashed. Same thing happens to a neighborhood: first the litter, then everything else goes downhill.

I want to praise Mayor Luke Ravenstahl for making this very prudent investment in our city. Good litter barrels are more expensive than ordinary trash cans. Nevertheless, litter barrels are cheap considering how much good they will do! This simple capital investment requires no ongoing administration cost (like some "Program") yet pays big dividends in neighborhood improvement. The litter barrels are not sophisticated,

or flashy, solutions to all our city's problems. They are, however, a smart use of our limited resources.

T. J. Harris



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