photo CC SA-BY from Our OaklandAnyone know the story or policy around the Oakland City guidelines for these? How do we request one for our neighborhood? More importantly, do they work? Or are they more of a "feel-good" use of funds? How much does setup and maintenance cost? Who pays for it?

No exact information but BIDs are involved and they are Very Very expensive  but seem to pay for themselves.

Aside:  In Longfellow, the trash can on 40th St and MLK gets so full that there's always trash around it because the city can't pick it up fast enough to keep up with foot traffic from MacArthur BART. We would appreciate some feedback from communities that already have one of these to know whether or not it's worth pursuing this option with the city (or whoever actually services these: WM?)

The compactors along Broadway are fairly new, and appeared to have been paid for by the Uptown and Downtown BIDs. Lakeshore BID paid fore theirs.

List of locations:

Links and References:

Solar-Powered Trash Compactor by Big Belly from Waste Management website

Design Guidelines (PDF) from City of Oakland

To populate Oakland with Solar Powered Trash compactors (Engage Oakland idea)