Keep It Clean Oakland

“Keep It Clean Oakland” is an initiative designed to actively engage longtime residents and the university community in beautification activities throughout Oakland’s neighborhoods. Volunteers work together to clean, repair and improve the Oakland area. The idea is simple but the potential impact is huge. The initiative focuses on keeping the area clean through beautification efforts throughout the year while at the same time creating opportunities for students to feel a sense of ownership of the community.


Oakland has an incredible amount of litter and debris due to the number of users it has each and every day. Many of the diverse populations that use Oakland are rarely given the opportunity to improve and take care. The cleanup and ongoing cleaning activities will improve the visual and physical aspects of the environment. By engaging the Oakland residents and students to take part in cleanup and “keep clean” activities, they are more likely to care about its appearance.

“Keep it Clean Oakland” encourages Oakland residents (both short and long term) to take ownership and responsibility of Oakland as a space and to create an atmosphere of pride in keeping Oakland beautiful. There are many examples of cities, which take a littered and distressed area and change it into an area that is clean and cared for by its community. Clean neighborhoods can translate into less crime, less graffiti, increased property values, and a better environment for anyone who uses or lives in the community.

Who is involved and what do they do?

“Keep it Clean Oakland” is collaborative in nature. Partnerships between Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, Oakland Community Council, the University of Pittsburgh, and local businesses have made this program a success. Since August of 2003, we’ve had over 7,700 volunteers collect 3,870 bags of litter and debris from Oakland.
We have removed litter, painted a field house, planted flowers, removed more litter, distributed information on recycling, code enforcement, and tenant rights and responsibilities. We have created an Adopt-A-Block program where a group adopts a street or group of streets and agrees to clean it up at least once a month.

KICO Quarterly Newsletters
Extra Edition Winter 2006
Winter 2006 KICO Newsletter

KICO Sponsors and Partners
Jewish Healthcare Foundation – OPDC would like to thank the Jewish Healthcare Foundation for its continued support of the Keep It Clean, Oakland program. Since KICO’s inception in 2003, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation has donated $7,000.00 to support our neighborhood cleanup and beautification projects. The generosity of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation has enabled OPDC to buy various supplies, including trash bags, gloves, hand sanitizer, and flowers.

University of Pittsburgh – OPDC would also like to thank the University of Pittsburgh for its continued support of the Dumpster Project and for its in-kind donation of 20 dustpans and brooms for KICO.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center – OPDC would also like to thank the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for its generous in-kind donation of latex gloves, and trash bags for KICO and Adopt-a-Block.

American Eagle Outfitters Foundation – OPDC would like to thank the American Eagle Outfitters Foundation for their generous donation of over 600+ blank, colored tee shirts for KICO. Last year, OPDC printed the newest design of KICO tee shirts after holding a tee shirt design contest among KICO volunteers and Adopt-a-Block groups. The tee shirts were a huge hit among the volunteers as they featured a bright yellow decal on the back with a trashcan telling everyone to “Bash the Trash!”

City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works – OPDC would like to thank the Department of Public Works for their continued commitment to KICO. KICO would not be possible without the support of Public Works, as they are kind enough to pick up our trash from our many cleanup events throughout the year.

KICO could not accomplish what it does without the help of our community partners like the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, The City’s Department of Public Works and the American Eagle Outfitters Foundation! Thank you again to our community sponsors and partners!!