Sign of the times: Municipal candidates plan to give away, reuse or compost election signage

The municipal elections are over on Prince Edward Island so candidates now have to figure out what to do with their election signs.

Election signs in Charlottetown must be taken down within 7 days of election, according to bylaw

A City of Charlottetown bylaw stipulates election signs must be removed within seven days of the election. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

The municipal elections are over on Prince Edward Island so candidates now have to figure out what to do with their election signs.

Island Waste Management Corporation has said the thick plastic signs are not recyclable and would end up in a landfill, leaving candidates looking for creative solutions as an alternative.

Charlottetown mayor-elect Philip Brown has lots to think about these days as he prepares to take office — including what to do with the 500 lawn signs he put up around the city.

He says he gives most of them away to people looking for crafting and building materials.

"What they do with these old signs is they use them for insulating small garages, just any repairs they might be doing around the house," Brown said.

Charlottetown mayor-elect Philip Brown says he plans to give away his election signs. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Some of the printed plastic election signs can cost between $20 to $30 each.

Summerside councillor-elect Barb Ramsay said she plans to keep her signs for possible future use.

She made sure there was nothing on them that could date them in four years time.

Barb Ramsay made sure her signs had no dates on them so she could keep them for future use. (Submitted by Barb Ramsay)

Councillor-elect Alanna Jankov will give her election signs to a community group who inquired about them.

"Well, I'm left with a garage full of signs and so I was torn with what to do with them and I had a group reach out to me and ask if they could have the signage to recycle it," she said.

Jankov said the group plans to reuse the signs by painting over them.

Island Waste Management says the plastic used in most election signs is not recyclable and will end up as garbage. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

One Charlottetown candidate will not have any issues with his signs.

Valentine Gomez used 1,000 pumpkins with his name on them to get the word out before the election.

"I think the city and all decisions that everyone makes should strongly consider its effects and the consequences on the environment," Gomez said.

"We are moving away from print, we are moving toward more of a digital world and I think there is way more environmentally friendly ways to get your message out to the people."  

He said that some were destined for the food bank while the rest can go straight in the compost bin.

Charlottetown candidate Valentine Gomez used pumpkins instead of election signs. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

The City of Charlottetown says a bylaw stipulates all signs must be removed within seven days of the election.

According to the city, it is up to the individuals to decide what to do with the signage — but the city says it hopes candidates would reuse as much as possible.

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With files from Brian Higgins