Man gaining notice for picking up trash across East Bay

Andy Wang of Livermore spent hours Friday picking up trash in East Oakland. Lots of it.

"It's just a shame to see so much garbage around this beautiful area," said Wang, 28, surveying a stretch of Coliseum Way near 50th Avenue, an industrial area that includes a motel and a metal and fence company.

"I just think, you know, I can make a small difference and just help out the community," said Wang, wearing a reflective vest and gloves.

Wang is an electrical engineer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory who drives to Oakland to clean up the streets.

"For a while, I would see trash just accumulate in the same location, and I think to myself, ‘I’ll do something about it,'" he said.

He spent six hours there because he has the day off. But Wang says he also picks up trash after work and on weekends. 

And it's not just Oakland city streets.

He posted a video online showing him on I-880 in San Leandro after he called to report trash on the freeway. A CHP cruiser pulls up. 

"Hey, how's it going?" Wang greeted the officer. "Yeah, so I was driving, and I noticed this trash, so I was going to help out."

"Thank you!" the officer responds.

Together, they cleaned up the mess.

"At the end of the day, not only does trash affect people's quality of life, but also, like animals," Wang said.

On Instagram and Reddit, where his handle's @pengweather, he posts before and after shots. He uses a GoPro camera to document his work and for safety. 

Amanda Brunner of Oakland showed up to help.

"It was awesome to see that someone was already going all the way from Livermore to help clean Oakland up," she said.

Brunner, who is also an engineer, lives in East Oakland. She said she was inspired to pitch in after seeing one of Wang's posts on Reddit.

"I thought, this is my community, I want to give back to it and actually clean this up. I drive over this area all the time," Brunner said.

Wang knows his work will often lead to temporary fixes, but that doesn't discourage him.

"I understand that trash will come back," he said. "But you know, so long as I'm able to pick it all up, overall, you're going to have less trash."

Henry Lee is a KTVU reporter. E-mail Henry at and follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and