Lending a green thumb to our neighbors in Uptown

Emma Polen | Layout Editor.

Kellen Stepler | features editor

Sept. 23, 2021

While most Duquesne students were sleeping in Saturday morning, or partying at the fall downtown St. Patrick’s Day parade, some students in Duquesne’s Evergreen Club were picking up trash and other litter around town.

Working in tandem with Amplify Church in Pittsburgh’s Uptown neighborhood, four students in Duquesne’s Evergreen Club attended the trash clean-up event Saturday morning at the church. According to Evergreen Club president Tess Aumuller, the students were directed to a location where no one was cleaning yet, and they began to pick up trash in that area.

“There was a designated place to put our trash when the bag was full and we could start a new bag,” Aumuller said.

The group worked for about two hours. Saturday happened to be the city of Pittsburgh’s “Garbage Olympics” event – a city-wide affair where neighborhoods compete to pick up the most trash and litter off of Pittsburgh’s streets.

“It was good to be out in the community again and cleaning it little by little,” Evergreen Club member Emmala Le said. “It was a very sunny and hot morning, but it was still a good time.”

Both Le and Aumuller said that “clean-ups” in the local community, like Saturday’s event, have been an important aspect of the club – and that it’s great to be back now that Covid-19 restrictions are slightly lifted.

“I enjoyed getting out of our ‘Duquesne Bubble’ and interacting with the community like we did before Covid because it is such a beneficial and interesting thing to be a part of,” Aumuller said.

One of the things Le said she learned was that cigarette filters are the number one plastic pollutant in the United States, as the group saw and picked many of them up that morning.

“I enjoyed being outside and walking around Uptown to pick up trash with the Evergreen club,” Le said. “The most difficult thing was probably knowing that we couldn’t pick up every little piece of trash on the streets and sidewalks.”

Aumuller said that the group has more cleanups organized in the future. They also plan to host their two major events, Waste is Wack and a Spring Cleanup, in the spring semester.

“Evergreen is always welcoming new and old members, our goal is to host more events than meetings and we would love for students to help us decide what kind of events we should create,” Le said.