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Political Waste

During the most recent election I was reminded of the colossal waste that occurs from politicians running for office. Everything from flyers to lawn signs end up as trash. Think of how many times you were handed a flyer or found one stuck to your car during not only the most recent election, but past elections as well.

Both sides are at fault for this, even independents and third party candidates contribute to this problem. Even the “Pro Environment” Democrats are to blame just as much as the Republicans.

Lawn signs are everywhere. What happens to them? The paper and cardboard ones can be recycled. The plastic ones are probably recyclable. I talked to someone at a recycling facility in Charlestown, Massachusetts . I wasn’t able to get a completely straight answer from him, but the plastic signs can probably be recycled in single stream recycling. Even if they're not recyclable they area at least large enough where it would be easy for the sorters at the plants to pull them out. This is only for Boston and the Boston area. They may or may not be recyclable in other areas.

What first got me thinking about campaign waste was when I received a letter from a politician, I don’t recall who the politician was, but his letter was in support of Guy Glodis for auditor during the primaries. The envelope had two letters stating this politician’s support and the reasons why I should vote for Glodis. My first thought was, “I’m not voting for this guy.” My second thought was, “what a waste of resources.” Who knows how many people received a similar letter. Even if most letters and envelopes are recycled it is still a huge waste of resources.

Is their anything to do to help this problem? Even if you support a candidate don’t bother getting a yard sign. How many people really vote for someone based on seeing a sign in a neighbor’s yard? Next time you get bombarded by a supporter or employee of a politician running for office tell them how displeased you are with how wasteful they are and that’s why your not voting for the person. They probably wont care, but if you tell them your not voting for their guy because of his waste of resources they might give you the time of day.

Even though most of the materials are recyclable or probably recyclable. There’s no way of knowing how much of the waste is actually being recycled. My guess is probably not that much, and that kind of sucks.