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November 2007

SWACO triples recycling locations in Columbus, Ohio

The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) recycling drop boxes are now located at most Columbus City Schools.

A new program, in conjunction with Columbus city schools, the City of Columbus, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will provide an additional 129 free recycling locations. A total of 190 SWACO recycling locations can now be found in Franklin County.

“We believe that more families will recycle if we make it free and easy, and that’s what these new neighborhood drop locations are all about – letting parents and children “Get Green” close to home,” say Mayor Coleman.

SWACO interim executive director Ron Mills pointed out that the majority of what Columbus sends to SWACO’s Franklin County landfill is recyclable. “Columbus sports fans have been known to do a little “trash-talkin” during the football season… so let’s try this: If you took the 334,000 tons of Columbus trash sent to the landfill in 2006, and dumped it onto the playing surface of a football field, from end zone to end zone, it would make a pile more than 100 stories high

For every ton of recyclables collected in Columbus through SWACO’s expanded drop box program, the City saves money. It will cost Columbus about $20 less per ton to recycle versus sending a ton of trash to SWACO transfer stations or SWACO’s Franklin County Landfill. If the City saves money on the trash hauling bills, those tax dollars could be used for other services.

Recycling at the neighborhood school could also mean green for the neighborhood and school in terms of cash prizes. Giant Eagle supermarkets will be providing $1,000 cash prizes to the elementary, middle and high schools with the best recycling record between October 1, 2007 and December 1, 2007.

In an effort to spur neighbors to bring their recyclables to the schools the contest will also feature a $500 top prize for the neighborhood association aligned with the top school in recyclables collected.

Rules and regulations for the contest are provided on SWACO’s website at

SWACO and the Columbus Public Schools have been recycling together for three years. Each classroom has recycling containers for teacher and student use. n the average, Columbus students recycle 27 pounds each per school year. The biggest recyclers are the elementary students. They recycle an average 34 pounds per student. Overall, Columbus Schools have recycled almost 1,500 tons in the last two years.

There is no cost to residents to use SWACO drop-off recycling. Paper, cardboard, bottles, cans and other recyclables are accepted at the boxes.