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Straws Suck

Among the variety of single-use packaging littering our streets, none seems as ubiquitous as the plastic straw.  We pick up dozens of plastic straws during our weekly cleanup yet many more make their way into storm drains and into our waterways. While small in size, a plastic straw’s impact on animals and the environment can be devastating.

A recent proposal by Oakland City Councilmembers Abel Guillen and Dan Kalb seeks to reduce the supply of this plastic detritus by requiring restaurants to provide straws only on request. Fewer plastic straws means less litter and that’s something we can definitely get behind.

Plastic straws littered in the Temescal neighborhood







Honoring The Man of Steal

We noticed that the trash can mosaic honoring Oakland’s own, Rickey Henderson, was in need of a little love this morning.



A little paint, a rag, and some elbow grease cleaned things up nicely. Our small tribute to “The Man of Steal” and to Juan Lopez of New World Mosaics for creating such a beautiful mosaic in our neighborhood.




A Litter Free World

The overwhelming majority of the litter we pick up is packaging related to food. Whether pre-packaged plastic containers or bags and cups from fast food restaurants, the amount of waste is staggering.


While we, as a society, struggle with how to address this issue holistically, we believe we should be able to live in a clean and beautiful neighborhood today. Nobody wants to, deserves to, or should live in garbage, litter, and debris. We’ll continue to do our small part by spending an hour a week removing litter from our neighborhood. Join us any Sunday at 9am — corner of 43rd and Shafter.

AT&T Blighted Property

We spent the morning cleaning up along 45th Street between Webster and Telegraph. The AT&T property at 479 45th Street is becoming overrun with debris and graffiti.

The issue has been reported through See-Click-Fix (and here) to the City of Oakland and we are anxiously awaiting a resolution. In the meantime, we cleaned up what we could.

Litter Pickup

Our route today took us from 43rd and Shafter up to Broadway and 41st and back via Garnet and 42nd.


Garnet needed a little extra care today and we were happy to oblige.

See you next Sunday at the corner of 43rd and Shafter at 9am.

Out and About in the Neighborhood

Out and about picking up litter on 42nd and 41st last weekend.


We picked up a lot of trash but more importantly we met a lot of nice folks. On your next outing, take a minute to stop and say hi to people. We have some kind and interesting neighbors!


Hope to see you next Sunday! Our group leaves from 43rd and Shafter at 9am.


Oakland Earth Day – April 26 – Keep Temescal Clean

Want to celebrate Earthy Day in Oakland and help keep your neighborhood clean? Join us on April 26 for our annual Oakland Earth Day Neighborhood Cleanup Extravaganza!

2014 Oakland Earth Day


What: Neighborhood cleanup. Litter pickup and graffiti removal. Tools, gloves, and bags provided. Come see why the Mayor of Oakland called us “the most organized” Earth Day group.

When: April 26, 2014 9am – Noon

Where: Corner of 43rd and Shafter

Who: YOU!

Litter Pickup and Our Observations

Thanks to our lovely group of litter walk volunteers who helped remove a significant volume of trash from our neighborhood streets this morning.

Volunteers with their haul!

Volunteers with their haul!

Today we concentrated on the area around Oakland International High School.  Since their joining the neighborhood in 2007 OIHS have been good neighbors.  In 2013 the students partnered with neighbors to develop the Webster Street Garden Project which helped brighten and beautify the corner of 45th and Webster.

We were surprised and saddened to see so much litter around the school. There was a noticeable increase  in the volume of McDonalds litter, particularly along 45th Street. We’re hoping this is a temporary issue as McDonalds does have a litter control plan in place with the City of Oakland.

Another troubling situation is developing at the MacArthur BART station where trash and debris are piling up along 40th Street. We spent a significant amount of energy over there a bit ago and will drop by again soon. Please lend a hand in our cleanup but please also contact BART and let them know we can use their help.

See you next Sunday morning at 9am on the corner of 43rd and Shafter! In the meantime, let’s Keep Temescal Clean & Beautiful!

Cleaning up the streets (and hopefully the broken bus benches)

We had a great crew this morning. Our route took us from 43rd and Shafter, down to 41st to Broadway and back up 40th to Shafter.

A little rain didn't stop these folks from pitching in to Keep Temescal Clean & Beautiful

A little rain didn’t stop these folks from pitching in to Keep Temescal Clean & Beautiful

Had an opportunity to stop by the broken bus benches on the corner of 40th and Shafter — an issue we first brought to the city’s attention on August 22, 2012!


Unfortunately, after all this time, they’re still broken and attracting graffiti, weeds, and lots of litter and debris.

volunteer cleanup

Starting the Year off Right!

Our weekly litter pickup efforts have been going full-swing this year. Every Sunday morning we head out for an hour to help rid our streets of litter.  Join us this Sunday at 9am on the corner of 43rd and Shafter for an hour. You’ll be glad you did!

KTCB - Volunteers - 20140112

Special thanks to city councilmember Dan Kalb for pitching in to help Keep Temescal Clean! Temescal appreciates your service to our community!