How to Repurpose those Plastic Political Lawn Signs (You can’t recycle them)

Submitted by Myra Klockenbrink

Our yards and public spaces have been bristling with lawn signs through the election season. Estimates from the campaigns number in the thousands. What happens to them now?

Sally Davies from Greenwich Green and Clean said, “Basically the plastic sign is trash, but the metal legs can go in scrap metal.”

Photo: Steve Brown

Lawn signs are constructed much like cardboard but made from plastic, making them a versatile material for reuse. The most obvious reuse is by the campaigns or organizations themselves. Reelection anyone?

Barring that the signs can be painted over and used as a lawn sign for another event, like a yard sale or an announcement like thanking essential
workers. Chalkboard paint is a great way to recycle a message!

But the value of lawns signs doesn’t end there. One ingenious tip is to Velcro the plastic panels to a wall and use them as bulletin boards. Because they don’t easily degrade they can be very effective to damp down weeds or an
area of lawn to be turned into a new planting bed. Now is a good time to prepare the ground with a layer of compost and another of leaves. Top off these layers with the panels and either hold them down with rocks or use lengths of the metal stand to skewer them into the ground. In the spring, remove the panels and underneath a rich soil will be ready for planting.

Another use for the signs is fitting them to the bottom of shopping bags for strength and stability. The panels are a good substitute for the foam core or cardboard students use forschool projects. Any use appropriate for cardboard warrants a rethink for a lawn sign.

Pinterest has many DIY ideas for constructing waterproof containers and even furniture out of these plastic panels.

The candidates may have ideas of how to keep lawn signs out of the waste stream. Hector Arzeno, candidate for State representative, said he is “in favor of an agreement between both parties for NO signs on public property.”

That’s a start. While the politicians debate, citizens can do what they do best: out think the politicians.