Dealing with Graffiti

Please help keep Oakland free of graffiti by always reporting graffiti on your property or your neighbor’s property to the City of Pittsburgh’s 311 Response line (please hyperlink to and to the City of Pittsburgh Police by calling 911 and filing a report. Unfortunately, if the graffiti is on your property, it is your responsibility as the property owner to remove it. You can request assistance removing it from the City of Pittsburgh Graffiti Busters. Click here to download the Graffiti Removal Permission Form. Click here to read some tips on preventing graffiti.

A Welcome to Students

OPDC and its partners are pleased to provide you with the information you need to enjoy the time you live in Oakland, be it a year or a lifetime.  As a new Oakland community member, you are welcomed with open arms by people who have raised their families and invested their livelihood here, the same way your parents have invested in your neighborhood back home. This is a neighborhood that is now your home away from home, and we hope you make the most of it. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on this page, contact us at 412.621.7863 or send us an email.

Party Right

Your neighbors understand your desire to enjoy your home in the company of friends. In turn, they expect you to be mindful of how a party that gets out of control can affect the neighborhood. Are your guests being respectful by keeping the party inside your home or are they spilling out onto the sidewalk and street, disturbing others? Where are they disposing of all those empty cans—in your garbage cans or on your neighbor’s lawn? Best practice is to notify your neighbors before you’re going to have a party so they can let you know if it starts to get out of control. This will prevent the police and your landlord from getting involved and you from getting arrested for violations such as illegal noise levels, charging for entry into your home, or providing underage kids with alcohol. Remember—if the police show up, they, and your landlord will hold YOU as the lease-holder responsible for the disturbance.

A Message to Landlords

OPDC has productive working relationships with many landlords who rent in Oakland. These property owners want to ensure their properties are up to code and not a stress on the community. Many of these landlords attend monthly meetings hosted by Oakwatch: The Oakland Code Enforcement Project, where residents and code enforcement officials discuss top property violations in the neighborhood and educate property owners and residents on how to obtain proper permits, find resources to help keep properties up to code, and more.

The most common code violations  in Oakland are over occupancy, deteriorating structural issues (both internal and external), disruptive behavior/ large parties, overgrowth and trash, and parking violations.

Each year OPDC manages a “Good Neighbor” door-to-door campaign to educate students moving off-campus about living responsibly in Oakland. If you are a landlord with multiple units in Oakland and would like some Good Neighbor bags to distribute to your tenants, please contact 412.621.7863 ext. 24 or email

Safe and Clean Housing: It's Your Right!

Did you know your landlord is legally required to provide you with a home that is safe, clean, and livable, both inside and outside? After all, who wants to live in a house with overgrown weeds, an unstable porch or a moldy bathroom? Building codes exist to protect tenants from conditions like these. If your landlord is unresponsive when something goes wrong, contact 311 and they will send an inspector to your home. It’s important to understand that it’s your decision, not your landlord’s, to give the inspector permission to enter your home so he/she can legally document that the house is in violation of building codes and keep the landlord accountable for resolving these problems. Contacting 311 is easy, and you can do it anonymously! You can simply dial 311, or submit a request using their website. Scroll down to learn more about how the 311 system works.

Trash Talk

Take pride in keeping the community an attractive place to live and visit by following the rules regarding trash. Tuesday is trash day in Central, South and West Oakland. Wednesday is trash day in North Oakland. Trash must be tied securely and placed in a covered bin. Please put your trash out no earlier than 7PM Monday and no later than 6AM Tuesday—it’s the law. Contact your landlord if your trash bins are missing. Also, please keep in mind that when a holiday falls on or before your collection day, your pickup will be one day later.

Bulk pickup occurs weekly in Oakland and throughout the City of Pittsburgh. Bulk pickup service gives residents a chance to place their bulky waste items out on the street for free pickup. Bulk items include large items such as furniture, some large appliances*, and discards from small renovation projects – sofas, recliner chairs, tables, box springs, mattresses, dressers, stoves, washers, dryers, toilets, hot water tanks, and windows. No more than 2 bulky items per week per household are to be placed at the curb. Items such as carpet or lumber must be cut into three-foot lengths.

*The City of Pittsburgh does not collect the following items: car or truck parts, tires, refrigerators, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and construction materials. For collection of freon appliances, call the Appliance Warehouse at 412-381-8800 or call Construction Junction at 412-243-5025 or visit their website:

*Effective Jan 1, 2013, the City will no longer collect televisions, computers and computer peripherals at the curb. The City will cite anyone who places these items at the curb. Learn more by clicking here.


Did you know that it’s illegal not to recycle in the City of Pittsburgh? Every other week, on the same day as your trash collection, recycling crews collect bottles, cans, newspaper, and other materials. Make sure you place recyclables in blue plastic bags onto the curb, NOT in your trash bins, or they will not be taken!

Click here to get more information on City of Pittsburgh trash collection, recycling, bulk pick up, collections schedules, and more.

Get Involved in Oakland!

Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (OPDC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the quality of life for Oakland’s residents and visitors. We connect with universities and other local agencies on a variety of projects for which we frequently need volunteer help. If you need to complete volunteer hours for a class, want to “adopt a block”, are interested in a cool internship opportunity, or simply want to learn more about the neighborhood, contact us at 412.621.7863 or by email. Scroll down to view lists of other local nonprofits and institutions that partner with and support us in these efforts, and click on their name to learn more. Click here to view a list of public community meetings that take place throughout Oakland—attend one and meet your neighbors.

Important Contacts

Resources for Senior Citizens

City of Pittsburgh 311 Response Center: Use It!

311 is the City of Pittsburgh’s non-emergency complaint and information line. 311 allows residents to call one easy-to-remember number in order to receive information and access to city services. You can call 311 to ask simple questions such as when is trash day, how to recycle newspapers, and more. 311 is also a useful tool for reporting building, health, and safety code violations in your neighborhood. All 311 calls are answered by a live operator from 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. Each call and complaint receives a tracking number, in case you need to check back on the status of your complaint. 311 is an easy-to-use tool that can help improve our neighborhood and the entire City of Pittsburgh. You can also submit complaints to 311 online at

Where to Eat, Shop or Play in Oakland

Click here to learn more about the many ways to spend a leisurely day in Oakland. Here you will find information on museums, parks, restaurants, shops and more.

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