In the Northeast, autumn brings many things to our yards: leaves, pumpkin decor, and election signs. We can compost the first two, but what to do with those yard signs once election day is over? Most of these yard signs end up in a landfill, but there are more environmentally-friendly options.
Here are a few examples of places that will recycle the signs:
https://pittsburghpa.gov/dpw/yard-sign-recycling (call to confirm they are accepting signs for this election cycle)
If your town is not providing an option to collect campaign signs, there are other ways to recycle them. The metal stand can be removed from the sign and recycled anywhere that takes scrap metal (e.g. Michael Brothers in Pittsburgh). You might even get paid for it! The signs themselves are usually made of one of three materials:
Paper/Cardboard - can be recycled anywhere that accepts these items
Corrugated Plastic (#5) - harder to recycle, but there are places that take #5 plastics, including Michael Brothers
Plastic bag-like material – recycle wherever you take your plastic film
If recycling isn’t an option, don’t forget another R—Reuse! There are some creative ways to reuse yard signs. Doing a quick internet search on “reusing campaign signs” leads to suggestions of making storage boxes, birdhouses, and basket liners, or even just transforming signs into something more personal (e.g. Happy Birthday!).
Whether or not you are happy with election outcomes, we can all be happy when we don’t add yard signs to the landfill.