Fall and spring are the election seasons in the United States when citizens choose their representatives and take their stand on local issues. Political signs grow in voters’ front yards to support candidates and the issues they want their neighbors to support as well. After an election, these signs are usually no longer usable after the year or the campaign branding becomes obsolete before the next election cycle. What should we do with our political yard sign after the election cycle is over? Are political signs reusable? What else can these materials be used for?
As always, it’s best to reuse and recycle items rather than sending them to landfills. The materials, energy and effort that were expended to create these signs are limited and must be conserved as much as possible.
recycling political signs
Election yard signage typically consists of two parts: the metal stake that goes into the ground to support the sign and the signage itself with campaign messaging. Neither of these parts is recyclable in a regular municipal curbside or drop-off recycling collection. These two sign components must be discarded at a special recycling collection site.
Metal stakes are usually made of steel. This material is recyclable through scrap metal recycling yards. We recommend that . collect the full load of metal to recycle Before You Travel — You Might Even Make a Little Money for your scrap metal.
Campaign signs are usually made of one of three different materials: plastic film stretched between steel stakes, cardboard that is coated or laminated with plastic to be durable, or corrugated plastic, which Often referred to by the brand name Coroplast.
plastic film The type of sign can usually be recycled with film plastic bags at the local grocery store or other big box store. If possible, it’s a good idea to contact your local collection site to confirm that they accept this type of plastic film.
Laminated cardboard and corrugated plastic are both difficult to recycle and will need to be dropped on a special recycling drive for these materials. Contact your local municipality or solid waste district – they may organize such recycling collection programs after the election is over. Typically, they accept both sign and metal parts together. Since municipalities and solid waste districts will collect a great deal of the same material, these groups will be able to drop the material at a specialist recycling facility that will not accept a sign or two from individuals.
reuse of political signals
Before attempting to recycle parts of your political yard signs, it’s best to inquire whether the cause or candidate would prefer if their signs were returned to them. It is best practice to reuse pointers for their intended use as it conserves the resources needed to create new signals. Candidates or other groups that reuse their signals also benefit by cutting costs for the next election.
If you run for office or are a decision-maker for local reasons, you can directly affect the reusability of political signs. Do everything possible to make your election symbols evergreen. Do not print the date or year on signs and use consistent colors and logos from year to year so that they can be used over and over again. Encourage supporters to return their signs or ask volunteers to round up the signs a week after the election.
upcycling political signs
If your chosen candidates and reasons don’t reuse their campaign signs, there are still upcycling options. If the signs are corrugated plastic or plasticized cardboard, one of the easiest projects is to just make a new sign. Simply paint over the current text and paint a new message, such as “Happy Birthday” or “Park Here.” Use chalkboard paint For extra reusability.
Because corrugated plastic material is so durable, it has the potential to be something completely new. Some ideas include storage cubbyhandjob making toyshandjob storage boxeshandjob bird houses, or even a geometric dome If you have enough material.
Use metal stakes to support your garden plants. or use them to create something new like a steel metal fire basket.
You can also get local maker space which accepts signs for reuse at its facilities.
consistently practicing our values
Like many items in our lives, campaign signs don’t come with an end-of-life plan—even if they’re only useful for a short time. It is easy to feel that these signs are not ours and that we are not personally responsible for them. But after we vote for candidates and measures that support our environmental, social and moral values, we must remember to practice those values. In most cases, it is up to us to responsibly dispose of political yard signs at the end of the election cycle.
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