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Pittsburghers Celebrate Earth Day and Pledge Continued Action

Across the world, people are celebrating Earth Day in a variety of ways today, from trash clean ups to tree plantings.

Pittsburgh didn’t wait for the actual day, as Earth Day events started last week and will continue in the coming weeks and days.

On Friday ALCOSAN workers gathered at several spots in Allegheny County to pick up litter.

“All the litter we pick up has the tendency to blow into the rivers,” said ALCOSAN spokeswoman Nancy Barylak, “so that litter you see on the side of the road could easily end up in the rivers.”

All told, 31 volunteers collected 113 bags of trash at the sites along with seven tires and illegally dumped items such as a television, recliner and a mattress. For years, ALCOSAN workers have gathered throughout the year for such trash cleanups.

More trash cleanups, sponsored by other organizations are also happening this afternoon. On the county level, officials say there is an ongoing effort to recognize Earth Day all the time, which can have numerous benefits.

“Just this year, the county has introduced a new facilities department,” said Allegheny County Sustainability Manager Jeaneene Zappa. “The whole idea is to lessen energy, lessen water consumption and thereby reduce dollars and carbon footprint for the county. So there’s real tangible savings for the county and for the public.”

There are Earth Day events scheduled today, and beyond including:

  • Earth Day Town Hall Meeting, a chance to hear from experts on clean energy and workforce development, as well as people on the front lines of developing policies in the region that will encourage clean energy development and energy efficiency, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the United Steelworkers building.
  • Earth Day Cleanup - Session 2 at Southside Riverfront Park Cleanup with REI and Friends of the Riverfront; Southside Riverfront Park, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • City of Pittsburgh Earth Day Event: Get Out and Play PGH, and Earth Market Celebration in Market Square hosted by the Mayor's Office, Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

A full listing of events until June can be found here.

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