Heights residents embrace sign recycling drive
From Nov. 3 to Nov. 14, Heights residents had the opportunity to recycle yard signs, old and new, by dropping them off at one of five collection points across Cleveland Heights.
The Cleveland Heights Green Team (CHGT), which organized the drive, estimates that approximately 1,500 signs were collected, of which about 1,200 were taken to the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District (SWD) for recycling. The balance was returned to four candidates who asked for them back.
"These are 1,500 signs that did not end up in the landfill," said Nikki Newman, who volunteered to collect the signs. "I was surprised to see how heavy and bulky they get. It took two full truckloads to transport them to the SWD. It just felt so good knowing that they are going to be used in some other form or shape."
In organizing the drive, CHGT partnered with Heights Libraries and three Heights merchants: Dave’s, Zagara’s Marketplace, and Save-A-Lot.
"The response was beyond anything we expected," said Alex Sitarik, co-founder of CHGT. "We were thinking that checking on the collection boxes every third day would be enough. But stores managers and residents began calling us almost immediately to empty out the boxes. We could hardly keep up. I guess this was a great problem to have.”
Some of the signs had been stored for a very long time. "We saw Obama/Biden and Kucinich for Governor signs," said Natalie Elwell, another CHGT co-founder. "Not only are Heights front lawns looking less cluttered, but we are sure that some garages have a lot more space today than they did for years.”
The group is grateful and encouraged by the residents’ response, and is planning more “hard to recycle” drives in the months to come. For more information, visit www.chgreenteam.org.
Catalina Wagers is a resident in the Fairfax neighborhood. She is involved with several local organizations, supporting causes and programs focused on the advacement of NEO through better access to education, policy advocacy, and environmental protection. She is co-founder of Cleveland Heights Green Team.