Clean Pittsburgh Commission Launches Pick Up PGH Project, Seeks Proposals for Paid Litter Clean-Ups

PITTSBURGH, PA (August 19, 2020) The City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works has issued a request for proposals on behalf of the Clean Pittsburgh Commission (CPC) for the “Pick Up PGH” project to enter into contracts with local businesses or organizations to do regular litter and illegal dumping clean ups over the course of one year in priority areas and pay neighborhood participants for their service. The CPC intends to award multiple contracts for a total amount of $30,000.  

Priority clean-up locations will be located in historically underserved communities. Respondents submitting proposals should identify areas by referencing a combination of maps and visual assessments including citizen reports of litter and illegal dumping submitted to the City through its 311 reporting system and using a map of redlined areas. Redlined area maps served banking and insurance providers with an unjust racial lens to identify and systematically deny mortgages to individuals and families of color in specific areas until the late 1970s. This longtime practice contributed to broad divestment in housing and infrastructure and lead to vacant lots, condemned structures, and seldom-travelled alleys that invite illegal dumping.  

Established‌ ‌in‌ ‌2005‌ by the Mayor's Office, the CPC acts as a primary ‌resource‌ ‌for‌ ‌addressing‌ ‌quality‌ ‌of‌ ‌life‌ ‌issues‌ ‌in‌ ‌Pittsburgh's‌ ‌neighborhoods‌ ‌through‌ ‌litter and illegal dumping education,‌ ‌policy, clean-ups,‌ ‌and‌ beautification and includes representatives from volunteer, nonprofit, corporate and municipal organizations. The CPC unanimously decided that reinvesting in historically redlined neighborhoods is but one small way to promote racial justice and equity in our City. 

“Advancing racial equity is a priority in my administration,” said Mayor William Peduto. “The Clean Pittsburgh Commission’s Pick Up PGH further affirms our commitment to serve every one of our 90 neighborhoods equitably. Paying participants for this work will reinvest our resources back into our communities and make certain that the spotless environments all neighborhoods deserve are maintained.”  

CPC Co-Chair Rachel Nawrocki said of the program: “We are expanding the CPC’s work beyond sharing information and collaborating with city, non-profit, community organizations for projects. Our values hold that the‌ ‌best‌ ‌approach‌ ‌to‌ ‌neighborhood‌ ‌improvement‌ is‌ ‌always‌ ‌directed‌ ‌by‌ ‌the‌ ‌people‌ ‌in‌ ‌that‌ neighborhood.  

We’ve long relied on community organizations and volunteers to clean our neighborhoods, and now we would like to invite them to apply for this new funding to assign value to the work of litter and illegal dumpsite eradication. Pick Up PGH intends to do just that.” 

The clean ups in priority areas will be done in addition to the regular clean-up work of DPW crews and in coordination with DPW to ensure accountability.  

“Even with the Department of Public Works’ daily operations and assisting volunteer efforts through events like the Garbage Olympics, litter and illegal dumping prevail,” said Public Works Director Mike Gable. “Pick Up PGH creates financial incentives to clean up and maintain underserved areas.  We will require before and after photos to allow us to quantify and qualify further investment in keeping our neighborhoods clean.” 

3 information sessions will be hosted virtually for interested parties, and the frequently asked questions from those sessions will be posted online at the City’s competitive solicitation site, Beacon: as RFP20000346. 

Visit the @CleanPGHCommission on Facebook for details on other initiatives to #KeepPittsburghClean. 


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Molly Onufer
Communications Director
Mayor's Office