Incoming Grimsby councillor looks for ways to reuse and recycle election signs

In the lead-up to each election, we’re all used to seeing the forests of signs, stuck into lawns and across fences, imploring to vote for every candidate.

But, once all the votes are cast and counted and the winners are announced, that forest is flattened and the signs disappear from our streets until the next election cycle.

Some signs are squirrelled away into basements ready for the next election bid, and others may be destined for landfill.

But after this municipal election, the campaigning team of one candidate in Grimsby decided to reuse and recycle the signs, sending them to good causes and recycling centres rather than the dump.

On Oct. 25, the day after Grimsby councillor-elect Reg Freake was re-elected to ward 1, he and his team set to work to divert the signage from landfill.

“Recycling is becoming a responsibility for all residents,” he said. “It’s really important that we recycle everything we possibly can and reuse everything we can.”

Freake and his team of campaign volunteers reached out to local community groups and the region to see how the materials could be reused or recycled.

The wire frames, used to place the signs in the ground, were donated to GBF Community Services for its diversion program.

The large foam-core signs were delivered to local arts groups in Grimsby for art workshop ‘canvasses.'

The wooden stakes were donated to gardening organizations in Grimsby, and the small plastic signs were put in the grey boxes for recycling.

All together, more than 30 large signs and 90 small signs were collected and diverted from the landfill in this way, according to campaign volunteer Marilyn McCrae.

Freake said that he is an advocate for the "three Rs": reducing, reusing and recycling, and hopes to set an example for the rest of the community.

“I strongly suggest everyone do the same thing,” he said.

Chris Pickles, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News