by David Goldstein
CAMPAIGN SIGN REMOVAL DEADLINE IS MARCH 13
Political candidates and “issue proponents” have until Friday, March 13 — 10 days after the election — to remove their campaign signs from unincorporated areas, according to the County of Ventura’s Political Sign Registration form these parties are required to sign prior to posting. This rule even applies to campaign signs on private property; the county bans signs from right-of-ways along county roads. Cities have their own rules, but removal deadlines are generally similar, with Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley having the strictest deadlines, at seven days.
What should people do with these removed signs? Outdoor campaign signs are usually made from heavy-stock, poly-coated fibers, meaning a combination of paper and plastic, which is very difficult to recycle in current market conditions. In fact, advises Christian Contreras, former recycling coordinator for the New-Indy Containerboard recycling mill in Oxnard, “It is better to throw the typical political poster in the garbage, rather than trying to recycle it in your curbside cart.”
Automated systems at sorting centers will treat those posters like pieces of cardboard, and the posters will end up in bales sent to paper mills to be made into new cardboard. This may be counted as recycling on some tallies of recycling programs, “but the fibers and plastic from the posters will end up being screened out of the truly recyclable mix, and the recycling mill will then have to pay to dispose of that mess, along with all the tape, labels, baling wires and other material screened out of the pulp in the manufacturing process.”