Scoop: Chicago launches new election sign recycling program


Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation is trying something new this year with all the election signs that amassed after the April runoffs.

Why it matters: Instead of getting dumped into a landfill, tons of signs from last month’s election got recycled, city officials said.

Yes, but: Last month, commissioner Cole Stallard had his staff collect all election signs on public property, separate the plastic from the metal, and recycle it, he tells Axios.

  • Department officials report it diverted 4.47 tons of waste from landfills.

Be smart: Putting garbage in a landfill requires tipping fees, which cost taxpayers money.

  • But if we recycle waste, especially metal, the city can make money.
  • That’s a bonus on top of the ecological benefits.

What they’re saying: “We didn’t announce [the sign recycling] in April, because we wanted to see how it would go first,” Stallard says.

  • “It was not an easy task, but now we have a system in place.”

What’s next: Stallard wants to expand the program next election cycle, so residents can recycle signs.

  • “I want to see if I can make a place you can take them to,” he says. “I’ll try to work with the aldermen’s office, or maybe Streets and San can have a facility or dumpster dedicated to it so you can come throw your signs in there.”