Are Political Yard Signs Being Recycled Correctly?

It’s 2020. That means that this year, the United States will vote for who should be president for the next four years, who should be in Congress, and who should be mayor of their city. This also means that there are hundreds of political yard signs that are in the yards of homes in most cities. The thing is, are these signs secretly bad for the environment?

After doing a little research, I found out that most of these signs are made out of many different materials. According to one company, they can include paper, metal for the stakes, and various types of plastics. This same company also stated many different solutions for different types of signs. For example, if your sign is paper, you most likely can recycle it in your regular recycling bin. However, if your sign is sturdy and hard to break or flexible but not paper, it gets to be a little trickier. For sturdy signs, (most are made out of plastic #5 according to Lake County Recycles), you can recycle them with your regular recycling.

Here lies a small problem though. Only plastics #1 and #2 are used in common items, (I learned this from a great documentary about plastics last year.) The rest include other objects that not many people would think of as something for everyday use.

If your sign is flexible, it means that it’s most likely made from plastics #2 or #4. According to the website, “This can’t be recycled curbside, but it can be recycled with plastic bags.”

One idea that the site didn’t mention is just to repurpose the whole sign all together. Make a “happy birthday” yard sign for a friend by taping a piece of poster board to the original and decorating it.

What other creative things could you do to make sure your political yard signs are recycled correctly?