When awesome meets social, meets junk and metal, you get the recycling service run by Oakland’s Alliance Metals, the poor and homeless people turned part-time junkmen, and the awesome metal sculptures on display in front of the Alliance center.
Alliance pays cash for everything from plastic to glass, but metals probably pay best, so the clinking and clacking shopping carts filled with various metal bits can be heard all over West Oakland. Not to mention, there’s also the element of crime, with people busting into boarded up old houses to snatch the plumbing inside, but it’s all for a good cause.
Two good causes actually, money for the homeless and recycled junk art.
Because if you never thought you’d see C-3PO hanging out with a metal orangoutan while a giant metal frog does its best spiderman impersonation on the wall above them, you were wrong, brother. Whichever artist Alliance Metals hired to build these beauties – or maybe Alliance themselves built them, has a lot of talent, imagination, and good taste.
You need good taste to make potentially kitschy art look this inviting, and I like to think that it adds a friendly, humane element to the relationship between the recycling center and its less than socially fortunate customers.