AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson

DCL

Around election time, we all like to put signs in our yards to express our political tastes. We don't do this for any other taste. You never see a yard sign that says, "I like burgers." or "I enjoy romantic, moonlit strolls." Only political tastes get expressed via the yard sign. The political yard sign quickly becomes a distasteful eyesore after November 4th. What can we do with our old election signs?

In some places, it is the responsibility of the campaigns to reclaim the yard signs and dispose of them. I doubt, however, that we'll see John McCain and Barack Obama loading signs into the back of a truck any time soon, but local officials often have to collect the signs themselves. Before you let anyone collect your sign, make sure that they are responsibly recycling.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the City of Austin and Plastics General Inc. in Tempe, Arizona are spearheading programs to encourage recycling election signs. Even if you do not live in a city with a large-scale election-sign recycling program, you can undertake a small-scale program of your own. Call your friends. Ask them to recycle their signs or offer to do it for them. If you see a lonely sign flapping in the wind, collect it and ad it to your sign-pile. If you really want to show some initiative, knock on doors and ask to collect the signs from people's yards. Call 1-800-CLEANUP for recycling information in your state.