Penn Hills Anti-Litter Group holds solo cleanups - Penn Hills Progress

Penn Hills Anti-Litter Group holds solo cleanups

Tuesday, April 7, 2020 | 12:50 PM

The Penn Hills Anti-Litter Group was coming off a successful 2019, having picked up nearly 260 bags of trash during five group pickups as well as having won awards for Most Team Spirit from the Pittsburgh Garbage Olympics and second place Best Float for the Penn Hills Memorial Day parade. The group was to kick off its fourth year on April 4 with a Pick Up Pennsylvania (Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful) litter pickup on Duff Road. However, Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order prevented that.

Instead, one of the group members had an idea: Since exercise is permitted, why not have members go out on their own and pick up trash in their neighborhoods. So from March 31 to April 6, that is just what 24 members of the group did. Taking appropriate precautions, volunteers covered various portions of streets and areas around Penn Hills: Coal Hollow, Frankstown, Leechburg, Long, Hunter, Hamil, Frey, and Verona Roads; Althea, Dorothy, Wilson, and Stoneledge Drives; various streets around Frankstown Estates and Churchill Valley; Graham and Allegheny River Boulevards; Old William Penn Highway; Pennview and Lee Drive Parks; and the Rodi Road on- and off-ramps. Litter picker-uppers collected various items, including car parts, bottles, discarded gloves, and fast-food wrappers, and ended up filling nearly 65 bags of trash over 7 days.

Although the group was disappointed to miss out on the camaraderie, which usually ended with a trip to Griff’s Grounds Coffee, as well as being able to clean one road really well, several participants said the solo pickup was just what they needed for their mental health. One member said it was great to get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine, while another said it felt good to give some love to many streets at one time.

The group members encourage others to clean up around their neighborhoods, solo or with family members who live in their house, provided they take proper precautions, including using thick gloves, wearing a mask, and disposing of trash properly. The group also asks people not to litter in general and especially implores residents to dispose of plastic gloves in garbage cans; please don’t toss them on the ground.

The Penn Hills Anti-Litter Group looks forward to holding future community pickups as a group, after the stay-at-home order is lifted. In the meantime, the group is accepting essays from Penn Hills High School students for their 2020 litter essay contest through April 22. For more information about that or the group in general, please find us on Facebook, Instagram, or send an email to

Help us show our #PennHillsPride by keeping Penn Hills beautiful.