Brief

Recyclers are ready to dispose of campaign yard signs

Dive Brief:

  • In the ultimate display of nonpartisanship, Alpine Waste & Recycling will be offering free drop-off recycling service for campaign signs at its Denver, CO facility. This covers the standard corrugated or flimsy plastic varieties, plus the accompanying metal wickets that stick into the ground, as reported by The Denver Post. 
  • Alpine recycled about 2.5 tons of signs and metal after the 2012 election. The company estimates this was the equivalent of 5,000 signs out a of a potential 100,000 in the area.
  • Residents in parts of Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and likely other areas have also been advised to not place the signs in their curbside bins and instead take them to select drop-off locations for disposal.

Dive Insight:

As one of the most polarizing election seasons in recent history comes to a close, sign disposal is something that most everyone in the U.S. should be able to agree on. The sight of campaign signs in windows, on front lawns and along roadways is common during any election cycle. Though combining ballot measures and races from the local to congressional level with a presidential campaign generates even more waste than usual.

While signs from winning campaigns may serve as mementos, the vast majority of those that were used — and the extras that weren't — will lose their value. In Michigan, one community college trustee candidate has pledged to donate $1 to a local ecology center for every sign that residents take to Recycle Ann Arbor. 

When it comes to the presidential campaign debates, environmental issues — let alone waste issues — haven't gotten much air time. Political conventions are often held up for their sustainability efforts, though the fast-paced world of campaigns isn't usually that conducive to recycling. Sign recycling programs may not make a big difference, but they're a start.

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Filed Under: Collections & Transfer Recycling
Top image credit: Wikimedia