- Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series of recycling Q&A tips from Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland. Got a question or idea for a recycling tip? Contact Jarland at 630-208-3841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nov. 3, 2020, election isn’t officially over for some candidates, but with the passing of that date comes the usual recycling question …
Q: What’s The Right Way To Dispose of Election Signs?
Are the plastic corrugated yards sign recyclable?
And the metal prong used to hold them up?
A: Reuse, Repurpose, or Recycle
Hopefully the candidates will be collecting their signs and saving them for reuse during the next campaign cycle, or properly disposing of them.
These signs are not easily recycled, so Kane County does not currently have a program for this, and I do not know of any other local programs that take them for recycling.
There are two major barriers to recycling: that they are made of different types of plastic (corrugated plastic, polypropylene, HDPE, or PET), and they are problematic to bale and transport, in the same way that Styrofoam is. (They’re too light weight to transport to the processors as-is, so they must be baled, but they get caught in the baling machines and cause shutdowns.)
The following recyclers do take corrugated plastic signs. While this is not exactly useful for one-off sign recycling, it is helpful if someone can collect bulk quantity of them, separate the metal from the plastic sign, and take them to one of these recyclers.
Waste Management Recycle America
- Address: 30869 N Route 83, Grayslake, IL
- Contact: Tomas Vujovic at email@example.com
- Special Instructions: For this election season, the site will have two containers out in front next to the collection bins. One will be labeled for signs and the other will be labeled for the metal stakes. They need to be separated please. Both items should be placed in the containers loose, not bundled.
- Address: 422 White Oak Rd, Normal, IL 61761
- Contact: Marie Streenz at firstname.lastname@example.org, 309-452-0064, Ext. 109
Another idea is to repurpose the plastic signs for craft projects or insulation or some other reuse. If you cannot repurpose, they can go in the trash. Please do not put in the recycling cart!
Metal Stands Recyclable at Scrap Metal Facilities
The metal stands/prongs can go to any scrap metal recycler, or the Fabyan Parkway Recycling Center at 517 E. Fabyan Parkway. The hours there are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Or again, they can be saved and reused for another campaign cycle!
But please DO NOT put them in the recycling cart, where they will end up damaging equipment at the sorting facility.
Read More Recycling Q&A Stories!