San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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January 30th, 2009
Nearly a ton of plastic recycled from fall campaign


If politics isn’t always a clean business, that doesn’t mean it should make the environment filthy.

That’s the spirit behind an initiative undertaken in the wake of the November election by Sustainable San Marcos and Green Guy Recycling, which teamed up with local political candidates to divert almost a ton of plastic from the landfill through a program to recycle political signs.

Because the plastic used in political signs is not usually accepted at recycling centers, candidates’ only option before this year was the landfill. Thus, Sustainable San Marcos board member Tom Wassenich sought a source that would accept the plastic.

Organizers bailed the plastic from the signs and took it to Cycled Plastics in Austin, which accepted 1,839 pounds of plastic from political signs posted around San Marcos last fall. A similar program in Austin only recycled 500 pounds of political plastic, according to Sustainable San Marcos.

Daniela De Jongh, chair of the Sustainable San Marcos recycling committee directed the recycling effort that started in earnest the day after the Nov. 4 elections.

“We were impressed by the number of candidates that took time to recycle their campaign materials” said former San Marcos Councilmember Betsy Robertson, chair of Sustainable San Marcos. “We hope to see an even greater response in future campaigns.”

Green Guy served as the drop off location for candidates and residents. The total amount of plastic from San Marcos represents roughly 360 small yard signs and 520 highway signs.

In addition, organizations and individuals have found creative uses for the weather-resistant plastic. Many signs will be reused by candidates in future campaigns. Other materials collected, such as cardboard, wood stakes, metal wires and screws, were all reused or recycled.

“The program was planned for 10 days, but as residents learned about it, we received signs for over a month,” said Kyle Hahn of Green Guy.

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One thought on “Nearly a ton of plastic recycled from fall campaign

  1. Great job on the recycling. You know what would be a better move though? Charging the campaigns for not picking up their signage (trash) up after the election.

    When any city council member puts forward an ordinance that fines the campaign manager $2,000 for leaving their signage out 48hrs after an election, that councilperson will have my vote for life.

    The trash the candidates left strewn around the city after they won or lost was detestable. If I was running a lawn service or small business and I did that, I would be fined out of existence. Why are candidates above common courtesy?

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