It’s Endgame For Political Yard Signs And Candidate Mailers

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Boxes and plastic bags full of dated 2012 political yard signs and mailers are stacked against wall of Republican party headquarters on East Gay Street. The material will be recycled.
Boxes and plastic bags full of dated 2012 political yard signs and mailers are stacked against wall of Republican party headquarters on East Gay Street. The material will be recycled.

To quote broadcaster Cokie Roberts, “Elections have consequences.” One consequence is dated yard signs and campaign literature.

Its post-election time. Major parties are cleaning up. Cleaning up the yard signs and campaign literature. At Franklin County Republican Headquarters on East Gay Street, Executive Director Brian Metzbower was at loss to say how many yard signs were distributed this year.

“Its such a large number. Its tough to…obviously tens of thousands.” Says Metezbower.

Even as campaigns evolve to e-mail, social media sites, mp3 files, and Google ads, candidates and parties still use yard signs and mailers to get the name of their candidate in front of potential voters.

“People get emotional in a presidential year, especially, you know, more of a polarizing election year like this one was.” Says Metzbower.

At both Franklin county republican and democratic headquarter sites, boxes and plastic bags of signs and literature are stacked along walls to be recycled. County Democratic party chair, Greg Haas, says the boxes and waste bags are evidence of what he calls ‘yard sign wars’ among competing candidates.

“Its kind of the yard sign arms race. We need mutually assured reduction.” Says Haas.

Haas says some supporters of President Obama this year pulled out some four year old signs to advertise their choice.

“Actually though we did have a lot of people who saved their Obama-Biden signs and re-used them again this year, an amazing amount of people. We had a number of people bring in signs that they had used four years ago. For a presidential race, you know, that just doesn’t happen very often.” Haas says.

Haas and Metzbower say they’ll recycle the plastic signs and campaign literature with the Solid Waste Authority of Franklin County. The agency is holding its third political sign recycling event Saturday at Veterans Memorial on West Broad Street. Spokesperson Jodi Andes says last year recyclers filled three 90 gallon waste cans with plastic film from yard signs. But, this will be the first collection after a presidential contest.

Q: “Can you tell by this event afterwards whether the democrats or republicans are better recyclers?

“No we won’t be getting into politics.” Says Andes.

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