How To Recycle Election Paraphernalia

How To Recycle Election Paraphernalia

Now that the elections is over, it's time to breathe a sigh of relief and pluck those Obama-Biden (or McCain-Palin) signs off your front lawn. And while you're at it, perhaps consider composting your halloween pumpkins before they decompose all over your front steps. Josh Peterson over at Planet Green offers a few tips to restore order to you life, post-election:

In some places, it is the responsibility of the campaigns to reclaim the yard signs and dispose of them. I doubt, however, that we'll see John McCain and Barack Obama loading signs into the back of a truck any time soon, but local officials often have to collect the signs themselves. Before you let anyone collect your sign, make sure that they are responsibly recycling.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the City of Austin and Plastics General Inc. in Tempe, Arizona are spearheading programs to encourage recycling election signs. Even if you do not live in a city with a large-scale election-sign recycling program, you can undertake a small-scale program of your own. Call your friends. Ask them to recycle their signs or offer to do it for them. If you see a lonely sign flapping in the wind, collect it and ad it to your sign-pile. If you really want to show some initiative, knock on doors and ask to collect the signs from people's yards. Call 1-800-CLEANUP for recycling information in your state.

Grist's Katharine Wroth suggests several ways to reuse those signs:

1. Slide. Everyone knows a campaign is a long, uphill slog -- so celebrate the summit by whooshing down the other side on a campaign-sign sled. Just be sure to wear lots of padding.

2. Side. Who needs vinyl? Show the neighborhood your true colors with siding made from signs.

3. Lay 'em down. According to those who've gone this route, campaign signs are "very durable, and comfortable to walk on."

4. Make a birdhouse. Or a messenger bag! Plans courtesy of Les Fourmis, a group of Canadians who "get together to express themselves, share, and shake things up a bit."

5. Simply use them again next time!

You might also be itching to get rid of your politically-charged bumper stickers. Then again, Peterson points out, "If your candidate won, you may want to flaunt your '08 bumper sticker for a few weeks before taking it off. In any case, you don't want to be that person still flying a Perot/Stockdale sticker decades after the fact. That sticker has to be removed."

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