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Wildcat Hauling

Wildcat Hauling is a coalition of East Bay haulers working with our neighbors to conduct coordinated, guerrilla-style pickups of illegal dumping sites in West Oakland. We’re fed up and taking matters into our own hands. (It’s what haulers do.)

We know that dumping is a complex issue, and that to really tackle it, we need to do more than just remove junk from the streets. So we’re also working with neighborhood groups and government to lobby for appropriate laws to prevent dumping and ensure equitable access to disposal services, and educating the community on recycling and waste issues. However, changes in policy can take a long time. Meanwhile, our streets keep filling with garbage, and the City crews can’t keep up. A creative response is needed.

Everything is ready. We have a diverse group of junk haulers on board, from all over Oakland, and we’re still recruiting more. We can use SeeClickFix - the same reporting tool the City uses - to efficiently locate dumping sites, and follow trends and the impact we’re having. We’re arranging neighborhood Bike Scouts with the help of West Oakland bike non-profit Bikes 4 Life, Spanish translation from our Spanish-speaking haulers, and outreach efforts with longtime resident and recycling advocate Violet Henderson. We just need $$ to start the pickups.

Ultimately, this project is not simply about illegal dumping, but about the power of communities to respond creatively to our surroundings and work together to solve our own problems. In a neighborhood like Oakland, with a diverse mix of people and businesses and agendas, it can be hard to find an issue on which everyone can agree. But illegal dumping is such an issue: everyone who lives or works in the neighborhood has to experience it, and is united in wanting it to end. Neighbors at my hauling jobsites often come up and beg me to take that pile of trash that’s been at the end of the street forever. With Wildcat Hauling, I now have a response.

Funded by San Francisco, CA (June 2014)