After every election cycle, countless yard signs end up in the basements and garages of politicos. Thousands of others just get tossed on the trash heap. However, there are smarter ways to handle campaign signs following an election.
Storing signs for another election makes good sense, especially for local campaigns. On a race for city council or school board, yard signs can actually be a sizable part of the campaign budget, and all campaigns are rightfully looking for ways to get the most out of their financial resources. Here are a handful of best practices for storing signs following an election:Zip tie like yard sign wires and stakes in packs of a certain quantity. You could, for example, zip tie sets of 25 wires that support 24x18 signs. Store your sign wires in a cool, dry place. If conditions aren’t perfect, spray the wires with WD-40 or some other oil to prevent rust. Assess the signs themselves and reuse, recycle or dispose of the signs that you won’t be able to use again. Traditional cardboard signs must be stored somewhere cool and dry to prevent mold.
In addition to storing signs, you can also find creative ways to reuse them. Framed yard signs make a great addition to any politico’s office and a great gift for a candidate and his or her most dedicated activists following a successful campaign. If you are using corrugated plastic and are especially crafty, there are plenty of interesting possibilities.
If you don’t plan on keeping your signs, and if making a model plane from your corrugated plastic signs is a little over the top for you, be sure to recycle all the components you can. The metal wires can be recycled or donated to your local political party or to another candidate. The signs themselves are a bit of a mixed bag. You can recycle corrugated plastic and polybag signs, but cardboard signs have a coating on them that you can’t recycle. Those signs must go into the trash.
In short, if you’re working a small campaign with a small budget, it’s worth taking the time to store signs properly, or to reuse and recycle them.
Ben Donahower writes about campaigns signs from a political operative’s perspective at Campaign Trail Yard Signs. You can connect with Ben @iapprovethismsg on Twitter.