Trashcan Mosaics to Thwart Litter in Old Oakland

Grantee: Old Oakland Neighbors
Project completed 2014/15
Total project cost: $16,500*
Clean Water Program grant: $2,700
*does not include volunteer labor

Founded in 2006, Old Oakland Neighbors (OON) is a volunteer-based, grassroots community group comprised of people living or working in Old Oakland. OON was inspired to use public art to reduce neighborhood litter after realizing that the existing public trashcans were so ubiquitous—yet so ugly—they were practically invisible.

OON’s 2014 grant project seeded the transformation of Old Oakland’s ugly trashcans into neighborhood treasures by covering them with beautiful mosaics that feature local birds and plants. By making the trash receptacles more attractive and visible, OON aims to motivate people to use them, reducing the amount of litter that clogs the storm drains and pollutes the Bay.

The initial grant project included funding for the creation of three or four trashcan mosaics, but OON was able to leverage the grant-funded effort to launch a GoFundMe online fundraising campaign with the goal of completing 18-20 mosaic trashcans throughout the neighborhood. A 60-second video has helped promote the effort.