Political signs are being given new life, thanks to recycling efforts involving the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio.

Political signs are being given new life, thanks to recycling efforts involving the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio.

Gahanna City Hall, 200 S. Hamilton Road, and the Bill McDonald Athletic Complex, 4990 Olentangy River Road, served as collection sites Nov. 12, when residents were welcome to drop off signs for recycling.

Joshua Harmon, chief environmental specialist for the Franklin County Municipal Court, said this marked the second year the collection was used for community service to help SWACO recycle campaign signs.

He managed the Gahanna site.

Harmon said the sign components -- metal, paper and plastic -- will be recycled and no waste will be taken to a landfill for disposal.

"The plastic is melted down to make more signs," Harmon said. "We had one person show up who said, 'I'm not here to drop off but pick up.' He wanted presidential signs for his son's school project."

He observed the presidential signs were plastic while those touting local issues were paper.

Wes Rahe of Columbus said he collected 120 political signs to recycle at the Gahanna site.

Hanna Greer-Brown, SWACO communications manager, said 53 vehicles came through the Columbus site to drop off signs compared to 15 in Gahanna.

In total, 300 pounds of paper signs were collected, along with 500 pounds of plastic and ridged plastic signs (chloroplast), and 600 pounds of paper campaign brochures and handouts. Additionally, 2,250 pounds in metal sign stakes were collected.

For anyone who couldn't make it to the Nov. 12 collection, Greer-Brown said, paper and cardboard signs can be recycled in curbside programs once the metal stands are removed.

She said the metal stands can be recycled at local scrap yards or metal recyclers, or residents can reuse them during the next election cycle.

The plastic signs that stretch can be recycled through the plastic bag take-back location once the metal stand is removed. Residents can select from more than 100 Franklin County locations by searching SWACO's database at swaco.org/bringmeback.

To learn more about recycling or how to reduce waste, visit swaco.org.

@ThisWeekMarla