Play Oakland Mosaic Trash Can Makeovers

Art and whimsy provide surprising moments of wonder on cement trashcans in Oakland, California.

Family Friendly Oakland; Oakland, CA

About the project

Oakland, California has installed playful and engaging ceramic tile mosaics on ten city trashcans at bus stops and busy street corners where low-income kids and caregivers often wait. Led by parents and passionate volunteers in the community, the Play Oakland Mosaic Trashcan Makeovers turn mundane, ugly cement trashcans into playful and kid-centered mosaics. The mosaics include a maze, a giant basketball net, a hungry caterpillar and Chinese lion dancers. The kid-friendly designs reinforce early childhood development concepts, as well as foster local and cultural pride.

Community impact

Play Oakland Mosaic Trashcan Makeovers brings public art to neighborhoods that do not typically receive a large share of public investment in infrastructure. Thanks to the installations, the neighborhood has seen a reduction of graffiti on the trashcans, and an increased sense of neighborhood identity.