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If you’re like us, you’re concerned about the environment and the amount of garbage ending up in landfills. That’s why Off the Curb, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit has created OTCOakland.

What is OTCOakland?

The short answer: OTCOakland is an Instagram account. (You can find it here.)

 

The long answer: OTCOakland is an Instagram account that relies on followers to submit photographs of unwanted furniture that has been set out for trash in the Oakland neighborhood around University of Pittsburgh. The photographs are posted along with general locations for the items so that other OTCOakland followers can go get the items and give them new homes before they end up in the landfill. 

How does OTCOakland Work?

Using the direct message (DM) function on Instagram, Oakland residents send us pictures and general locations of clearly abandoned furniture they see on the curb and/or have set out for trash pickup. (For more on this, click here.) Those pictures are then posted on the OTCOakland Instgram account as “curb alerts” (#curbalertOTCO).

 

As soon as an item is posted, it becomes fair game. Any follower can claim the item simply by getting to it first. Keep in mind that by participating with and acting on the postings of the OTCOakland Instagram account, you are agreeing to do your due diligence to make sure the posted furniture is safe, usable, and actually free for the taking. (See more here.)

 

Once you’ve successfully rescued an item from off the curb, DM us a pic of the furniture in its new home. We will post it with a shoutout to you.

A Word About Garbage Collection

While we want to rehome as much furniture as possible, we don’t want to “clutter up” Oakland or make life harder for DPW. Please continue to follow the set-out standards:

 

  • Place your items on the curb no earlier than 6pm the day before your scheduled collection and no later than 6am on collection day. (You’re free to DM us a pic of your unwanted furniture items as soon as you place them on the curb.)

  • Place your items in a location less than five (5) feet from the street.

  • Do not block sidewalks, curb ramps, driveways, or streets in any way! 

  • Keep in mind that larger apartment buildings are not serviced by DPW and set-out requirements and materials accepted will vary depending on the private hauler. 

That’s the gist of it. The fine print is here. If you plan on participating in anyway, please check it out. Once you have, follow us at OTCOakland, and let’s start making a difference—one desk, chair, or sofa at a time.