What to do with all those campaign signs?

New Oak Park trustee has the answer - recycle them

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

It didn't take long for incoming Oak Park Trustee Susan Buchanan to get to work on behalf of residents.

The trustee-elect, who was the biggest vote-getter in the April 2 municipal election, capturing 15.45 percent of the ballots cast, has put a call out to all other candidates in the area to bring her their campaign signs.

Buchanan posted on social media the day after the election, telling candidates they can drop off their corrugated plastic signs with her to take to the recycling center.

"My husband built a corral in the front yard [to hold the signs]," she said.

Buchanan collected nearly half a ton of the signs — 800 pounds total, she said — and her husband drove them to the recycling center this week, she explained in an email.

As she began investigating what to do with her own signs — she purchased 400 for the election — Buchanan learned that a company in Chicago called Lakeshore Recycling will recycle them.

But recycling comes at a cost.

She said it costs $70 per ton to recycle the election signs.

She was told by Lakeshore Recycling that the signs will be turned into "plastic pellets" and put back into circulation.

Email: tim@oakpark.com

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Kevin Peppard  

Posted: January 18th, 2020 12:05 PM

With regard to recycling paper and cardboard board waste: I remember a story about a guy who lives in the Northwoods and has an old-style Franklin Stove. He subscribes to every junk mail he can, and rolls it up into logs and binds them with wire into "logs". He then burns them to heat his cabin. He doesn't have a gas bill, although he's adding to the carbon footprint of his dwelling.

Jesse Walters  

Posted: January 17th, 2020 7:59 PM

Should be available for the public to re-use. They can be used for your dog house roof, grape enclosure, compost bin walls, feed bins, can be taped or riveted together for larger applications. The paint cleans off with lacquer thinner, acetone, or they can be painted to look like wood. They can be reused as signs again when base painted...

Constance Coleman  

Posted: April 4th, 2019 3:25 PM

I use the metal portion as a great plant support.. I hope the placard is considered valid recyclable material by Waste Management.

Katie Bodendorfer Garner  

Posted: April 4th, 2019 2:32 PM

I'll take them for a friend who uses them to help find stray dogs. Just drop a note below if you're interested in donating.

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