For weeks, the number of political signs placed all over the county has steadily multiplied with the hope of increasing support and voter turnout for running election candidates. Well, Election Day has come and gone, but what about the signs?

Before tossing it in the garbage and disposing of it the easy way, consider saving signs for a different message or a DIY project.

One method that campaign officials recommend doing is to break apart the signs and separate the different materials to recycle them.

Some other options include using the different components of the signs for DIY projects or repurposing them for other events or announcements.

A sign placed to discourage voters from voting for Republican incumbent Sen. Ling Ling Chang displayed in Orange County.

A sign placed to discourage voters from voting for Republican incumbent Sen. Ling Ling Chang displayed in Orange County. Photo credit: Richie Rodriguez

Here are a few tips from recyclinglincoln.com.

  • Break down the sign by detaching the metal wire stand from the sign itself and recycling it along with other scrap metal.
  • If the sign is made of paper, it can be disposed of in your garbage with other recyclables.
  • If the sign is sturdy plastic, that means it can go in your garbage with your other recyclables as well.
  • If the sign is a very thin, flexible plastic, it can’t be recycled curbside, but it can be recycled with plastic bags.

Fullerton City Manager Kenneth Domer said, “All candidates’ signs are required to be removed by the candidates within 14 days of the election. Most of those signs should be on private property and often the homeowner takes it down promptly.”

Each candidate’s campaign team has a member that is made responsible to ensure that signs are removed in the time after Election Day.

Many campaign signs can be recycled or reused to make other DIY projects.

Many campaign signs can be recycled or reused to make other DIY projects. Photo credit: Richie Rodriguez


The Caltrans website outlines the criteria that campaign signs must follow in order to be placed on private property. Signs cannot be placed sooner than 90 days before a scheduled election and must not be larger than 32 square feet.

Section 5405.3 of the State Outdoor Advertising Act states that signs shall not be placed within the right-of-way of any highway or within 660 feet of the edge of and visible from the right-of-way of a classified “landscaped freeway.”

“Our Public Work crews generally will remove any signs illegally placed in the public right of way or on public land within a week of Election Day,” Domer said.

Should a campaign team not remove their signs within the allotted time, they will have to reimburse the department for the cost of removing it.

Josh Newman and Ling Ling Chang signs placed near each other as the two battled for State Senate for the third time.

Josh Newman and Ling Ling Chang signs placed near each other as the two battled for State Senate for the third time. Photo credit: Richie Rodriguez

All signs that are placed on private property have to be authorized before being set up and state law directs the Department of Transportation to remove unauthorized Temporary Political Signs and bill the responsible party for their removal, according to the Caltrans website.

“Some signs may get missed and eventually get picked up, but hopefully most get swept up in the first two weeks,” Domer said. “We don’t issue fines, but the candidates do sign documents that they understand our sign regulations and will take them down by 14 days after the election.”

Author profile

Richie Rodriguez (He/Him) is a journalism major originally from Buena Park, CA. In his free time, he enjoys writing, reading and watching food documentaries.