Northwest Sign Recycling wins ODOT contract

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Northwest Sign Recycling gives new life to old road signs.

Northwest Sign Recycling gives new life to old road signs.

Northwest Sign Recycling announced last week it won a $150,000 pilot contract with the Oregon Department of Transportation to reuse aluminum signs throughout the state.

Prineville-based Northwest Sign Recycling will transform old aluminum highway and street signs into clean, reusable blanks.

In a press release, Gov. John Kitzhaber commented on the program, saying, "Because small businesses are the largest employers, I support efforts to make Oregon’s existing businesses more successful. This pilot project will also help the state achieve our sustainability goals.”

The program will begin within the next 30 days. Northwest Sign will distribute sign bins at State Highway Department Yards across the state. The company will collect and recycle the signs, using water to strip off the old reflective sign sheeting in a non-toxic process.

Formed in 2004, Northwest Sign Recycling has worked with organizations and municipalities throughout the West including Dallas, the state of Montana and Vancouver, B.C.

Wendie Every, Northwest Sign's owner, said Oregon is the first state to do a pilot project.

The $150,000 contract will be paid out over two years. Last year, Northwest Sign, which has five employees, had about $350,000 in revenue.

Every said the company sells signs that are too damaged to be recycled as scrap and credits customers with 50 percent of that revenue.

A federal mandate to update the reflectivity of road signs is prompting states to switch out outdated signs, Every said.

For a look at Northwest Sign's recycling process, click the image above to view the gallery.

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