Last year at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Carrick residents cleared trash away better than any other city neighborhood during the Garbage Olympics.

Carrick will defend its title on Saturday, September 18, 2021 during the fifth annual Pittsburgh Garbage Olympics.

The Pittsburgh Department of Public Works (DPW) refers to it as an “annual competitive litter pick up event”. More than forty neighborhoods and two neighboring municipalities will participate, up from 35 neighborhoods last year when more than 500 volunteers collected 1,000 bags of trash plus tires, TVs and mattresses.

The Pittsburgh Garbage Olympics coincides with National Clean-up Day, which is held annually on the third Saturday of September. Clean-ups are scheduled in all 50 states to keep the outdoors tidy.

Additional volunteers are still needed locally. There are several ways Carrick residents can join the effort to clean the community better than the other forty participating neighborhoods:

People can also just show up Saturday, September 18 at 8:30 AM at the Carrick Community Pavilion on Brownsville Road. Arriving before the official 9:00 AM start helps everything get organized.

Gloves and “nifty nabber” litter grabbers will be provided for safety. While keeping people from touching garbage, they also minimize strains from bending. Safety vests will be available from the city DPW and Mayor Peduto’s Clean Pittsburgh Commission. Registering in advance helps the organizers have enough of those supplies on hand.

Coffee and donuts will also be available.

People will be turned loose to collect trash and garbage at 9:00 AM.

When the event ends at 11:00 AM, the number of bags of trash collected during 120 minutes and brought back to the pavilion will be officially recorded.

The DPW will collect the trash the same day.

The City’s hard-to-recycle vendor, ECS&R, will pick up and recycle TVs found during clean-ups, the DPW wrote in a press release.

People can toast the winners during closing ceremonies at the Garbage Olympics’ after party at Threadbare Cider House & Meadery in Spring Garden beginning at noon.

Picking up trash has a long history in Carrick, including community cleanups in the spring and throughout the year, Tree Tenders projects, and cleaning up Phillips Park. Litter and trash cleanups fit the Carrick Community Council’s strategic plan, which includes engaging residents and businesses to promote pride in Carrick.

The local clean-up efforts and city-wide clean-up events like the Garbage Olympics discourage littering because the streets are clean to begin with.

On Saturday, people in the area will have another opportunity to go for the gold and show the rest of the city how it’s done.