It’s not unusual to see heaps of garbage strewn throughout Oakland. Illegal dumping has been so persistent that one notorious pile has its own Wiki page. By now, most Oaklanders have learned to ignore junk they see piled on the sidewalk.
Not Ben Tolford, though. As a skateboarder, unnoticed piles of detritus can be dangerous, which is one reason he always keeps an eye out. But there’s another reason: Occasionally, he spots treasures in those trash heaps. He once even saved an irreplaceable family heirloom.