This file photo shows political signs from a past election. (Photo: WENDY LEUNG/THE STAR)
Political candidates and “issue proponents” had until Friday, 10 days after the election, to remove their campaign signs from unincorporated areas.
New signs can go up in August, 90 days before the Nov. 3 election, according to the County of Ventura’s Political Sign Registration form these parties are required to sign prior to posting. This rule even applies to campaign signs on private property.
The county bans signs from right-of-ways along county roads. Cities have their own rules, but removal deadlines are generally similar with Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley having the strictest deadlines, at seven days.
What should people do with these removed signs? Outdoor campaign signs are usually made from heavy-stock, poly-coated fibers, meaning a combination of paper and plastic, which is very difficult to recycle in current market conditions.
In fact, advises Christian Contreras, former recycling coordinator for the Indy Containerboard recycling mill in Oxnard, “It is better to throw the typical political poster in the garbage, rather than trying to recycle it in your curbside cart.”
Automated systems at sorting centers will treat those posters like pieces of cardboard, and the posters will end up in bales sent to paper mills to be made into new cardboard.
This may be counted as recycling on some tallies of recycling programs, “but the fibers and plastic from the posters will end up being screened out of the truly recyclable mix, and the recycling mill will then have to pay to dispose of that mess, along with all the tape, labels, baling wires and other material screened out of the pulp in the manufacturing process.”
See the grand jury report on signs here: More information: https://bit.ly/2WctKP4
Schools join recycling contest
Last week was the deadline for submitting data in the K-12 Recycling Challenge, a statewide recycling competition between schools.
The month-long competition concluded Feb. 29, and last week ended the data compilation period, with schools calculating and submitting their results to Keep California Beautiful, a nonprofit that awards cash prizes, provided by corporate sponsors.
Small schools can compete against large ones, as many of the categories measure results on a per student basis. Winning schools can collect prizes ranging from $1,000 for first place to $100 for fifth place in any of 18 prize categories.
Kelsey Hammond, an environmental services specialist with the city of Ventura, has been coordinating with schools in the Ventura Unified School District and is optimistic about the chances of three local schools.
More: Eco-tip: Scrap metal is widely recycled, but not from curbside
She likes the way the program “encourages campuses to adopt or improve their recycling programs and instills a sense of environmental responsibility in students.”
Last year, Sheridan Way School won second place for both cardboard recycled per capita and cardboard recycled overall. Also, Buena High School won first place for the total amount of California Redemption Value recycled.
These two schools competed again this year, and Anacapa Middle School also joined the competition. Focusing on CRV containers, Anacapa built on a fundraising program organized by teachers and staff and facilitated by the student-led Sustainability Club.
To find out more and register for the competition next year, go to greencaschools.org.
Earthquake retrofit deadline
March 19 is the deadline for Ventura and Ojai residents to register for the chance to be one of 4,400 homeowners who will be randomly selected to receive up to $3,000 from the California Earthquake Authority’s Brace and Bolt program.
The $3,000 grants are tax-free reimbursements to homeowners who, after registration with the program and selection for the funds, complete specified earthquake upgrade retrofits to their qualified foundations.
More: If there’s a huge earthquake here, are you prepared?
Residents of other local cities, while ineligible for the grants this year, may still receive discounts of up to 25% on their California Earthquake Authority insurance premium, according to a recent mailing to policy holders.
Terry Stern, a foundation retrofit contractor currently working on a major job in Oxnard, noted, “The quake authority wants plans to include plywood reinforcement for cripple walls, anchor bolts on the foundation to prevent the home from sliding off the foundation, and other common sense fixes that a homeowner probably should want too, if they want a better shot at preventing their pre-1980 home from becoming debris when the big shake hits.”
For registration and rules, see www.earthquakebracebolt.com.
Eco-Tip is written by David Goldstein, an environmental resource analyst for the Ventura County Public Works Agency. He can be reached at 658-4312 or email@example.com.
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