May 18, 2023 - News

When all the campaign signs in Philly will come down

Campaign lawn signs

A sign graveyard on Henry Avenue. Photo: Mike D'Onofrio/Axios

The primary is almost over, but campaign lawn signs could stick around a while.

Why it matters: Elections bring swarms of political signage to streets and parks, creating unwanted litter, much of which can’t be recycled.

What’s happening: The city lacks a dedicated program to pick up election signs.

  • Campaigns are responsible for removing signs they posted but there are no deadlines.
  • The Streets Department will remove campaign material on public property as part of their normal duties, Kyle Lewis, director of Philly’s recycling program, tells Axios.

Between the lines: It’s illegal to post signs or advertising on several public spaces, including utility poles, streetlights, historical markers and city-owned trees.

  • Yes, but: Those areas are often still bombarded with election material.

♻️ Be smart: Not all lawn signs are recyclable in Philly.

  • Lawn signs made from thin film plastic aren't accepted by the city’s recycling program, Lewis said.
  • The thicker, corrugated plastic signs — which look like cardboard — can be recycled curbside or at city sanitation centers.

Of note: The recycling program also doesn't accept the metal stands used in lawn signs, which can only be scrapped.

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