election signs recycling
THAT’S A LOT OF PLASTIC — Above, the Volusia County Election Sign Recycling Project delivers a huge pile of signs to Gel Recycling in Orange City. At right, the receipt from Gel tells the story: 2.48 tons of reusable material kept out of the landfill.

Editor, The Beacon:

Did you complain about seeing election signs everywhere? Did you know about the first-ever countywide election-sign drop-off at the Volusia County Fairgrounds after the election? Look for it to be repeated in 2024.

Since the Nov. 8 general election, a small group of seven dedicated volunteers from all over Volusia County collected unwanted election signs from the two political parties.

After the fairgrounds drop-off, we trucked them to Gel Recycling in Orange City, who volunteered to weigh and bale them. Our total was 4,960 pounds or 2.48 tons of election signs!

Our purpose is to keep these signs out of the landfill and recycle them. Why? These signs are made of polypropylene plastic No. 5, which takes decades to biodegrade.

Yet, recycling is tied to salability. So, although recyclable, polypropylene has not been salable for Volusia County. However, we found PureCycle Technologies, a company that specifically recycles polypropylene. They have offered to transport the signs to their facility in Ohio, where the signs will be rendered into clear plastic beads that can be used over and over, thereby keeping the plastic in circularity.

Elections have a higher purpose, and the signs advertising candidates only come out en masse every two years, but this same type of No. 5 plastic sign is seen year-round! “Roofing,” “We buy your house,” “Tree work,” “Development company” — recognize them? These annoying signs are called “snipe signs,” and they are a terrible problem for code enforcement in cities, the county and FDOT. And, these No. 5 signs go to the landfill all year!

Let’s all work to keep our environment free from disposed-of plastic! Plastic is great, but it is not more important than life itself, and it must be able to be biodegraded in a sensible manner. Let your city, county and state officials know you want to require the sustainable use of plastic.

For their valuable support, I wish to thank Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis, Volusia County Program Coordinator for Keep Volusia Beautiful Regina Montgomery, CFO of Gel Recycling Jacqueline Kerr, Volusia County Volunteer Coordinator Christie Miller, Volusia County Extension Director for UF/IFAS Kalan Taylor, both political parties, Christian Bruey with PureCycle Technologies Inc., the League of Women Voters of Volusia County, Fred Peace, Nancy Vaughn, Lucy Christman, Pattie Gertenbach, Peter Sigmann, Jennifer Coen, Libby Hilderbrandt and Joyce Palmer.

Suze Peace


— Peace is chair of the 2022 Volusia County Election Sign Recycling Project.


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