WASHINGTON — The leaders of the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns in Virginia agree on something: Those campaign signs in neighborhood yards across the commonwealth did not do much, if anything, this year.
“They were the bane of my existence,” said Trump’s Virginia campaign director, Mark Lloyd.
From getting the signs to people who wanted them to dealing with signs that were damaged or stolen, the signs often just ate up a lot of effort.
“Yard signs, when a candidate has universal name ID, are worthless,” Clinton’s Virginia campaign director, Brian Zuzenak, said at a discussion organized by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project.
Zuzenak and Lloyd recognize that many voters love yard signs, but believe they are more important in local races, where many voters may not be familiar with the candidates.
“I don’t know why yard signs are some mythical creature that is above and beyond every other campaign tactic,” Zuzenak said, “But just from a perspective of … the time it takes to deal with yard signs, and, you know, somebody’s yard signs get stolen and then we have to go out and replace them … that is a lot of time, and if I can spend that time having conversations directly with voters, I’m going to do that, and no one is ever going to convince me otherwise.”
Voters who did have yard signs that they now want to get rid of can recycle any paper signs, but stretched plastic signs are generally not recyclable.
In Fairfax County, Department of Public Works and Environmental services spokesman Matthew Kaiser notes that any yard signs in the trash would go up in smoke, but would not be wasted.
The county’s trash is incinerated in a plant in Lorton that converts some of the heat into energy.