The November 4th Presential election is quickly approaching and the marketing camps are in full swing. The nice part about most of the political marketing is that it’s very short lived, by this I mean you can change the channel if you don’t want to see a commercial, turn the page in a magazine or flip to a different radio station if you wish not to hear the advertisement. Even billboards along highways will soon be changed, but sadly, one marketing tactic won’t, roadside signs.

I’ve got no problem if you want to show the support of who you back for public office, but I start to take issue when the public highways are littered with rows upon rows of signs. Possibly the worst part is that as soon as one camp gets a new stretch bombarded with their signs, the opposing camp will start to put their signs up within hours. Not only are they ugly, it’s public land. Top that off with the fact that most of these signs are not made of recyclable materials and are hard to recycle and besides some weak attempt at advertising, you’ve created more landfill. Lastly, those so anxious to put them up never seem to be around to take them down.

Most cities, townships, boroughs, etc., all have guidelines and regulations about how quickly they need to be removed, but it’s very hard to enforce when there is no door to knock on to ask that they be taken down. Do we ask that political candidates go around pull them up themselves? Should they be fined?

How effective are they anyway? Has your opinion ever changed based on a yard sign? Have you ever driven past one and thought to yourself maybe I should look up information on this person?

The signs on a large part can be used for one thing or another long after the election takes place though, they just take thought. Here are four ideas that you can do with your political yard signs after November 4th.

Recycle them. They could be made of cardboard, plastic or some other material that may be easily recyclable. Contact your local recyclers and ask if they take them.

Trash bags. Some of the plastic yard signs are simple bags that get placed over two thin metal steaks placed in the ground. The metal stakes can be used as plant or tree supports in your garden and you can use the bag to put fall leaves in or as a small trash can in your home. Ironic huh?

Reuse the sign. It’s generally cheaper to print on two pieces of corrugated cardboard and stick them together around the stakes that go into the ground, if that’s the kind of sign you have you are in luck! Peal them apart and you can use them at a later time to announce a yard sale, baby announcement or some other event you need attention for at your house. Just grab a magic marker and have fun.

Pack them away. Over the years political memorabilia has become a sought ofter commodity, so if you feel like gambling and have the space, consider packing some of it away in hopes of profiting on it in the future.

In doing research for this article I wasn’t able to easily come up with any information or locations that openly took these yard signs to recycle, that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there. Please take the time to contact your local plant to see if they take them. I’m also interested in what other creative ideas you have for reusing the signs for another purpose, so leave a comment!