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Oakland's Street Sofas and the Bay Area Housing Crisis

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Jamie Facciola takes photos of discarded furniture on the streets of Oakland to raise awareness of waste. (Pendarvis Harshaw/KQED)

Jamie Facciola is an avid documentarian of discarded furniture on the streets of Oakland. Lucky for her, there’s a lot to cover. According to a study on the City of Oakland’s website, illegal dumping in Oakland increased by 100% from 2012–2017

I, like many people, walk past discarded furniture all the time and pay it no mind. But not Jamie. She walks her dog, Lucy, around their North Oakland neighborhood almost daily– taking pictures of discarded furniture and posting them to her Instagram.

When she initially told me about the project, I was like, “Meh… doesn’t seem too engaging.”

And then she noted the cycle of people moving in and out of the Bay Area, many of whom move in a haste and nonchalantly discard furniture, just to turn around and buy new furniture. She told me people not reusing perfectly good furniture is one of the many things contributing to deforestation, and ultimately global warming. 

Now that I know about her project, I can’t stop seeing old furniture and thinking about the environmental impact. After listening to her story, you’ll see it too. 

Jamie Facciola takes photos of discarded furniture on the streets of Oakland.
Jamie Facciola takes photos of discarded furniture on the streets of Oakland. (Pendarvis Harshaw/KQED)

A shorter version of this episode was first broadcast on Aug 9, 2019.

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