Recycling Sign Scraps
One of the first things we noticed about the sign industry when we opened Connecting Signs five years ago was all the scraps and waste from making signs and how to start recycling sign scraps. The trash cans were full and emptied out every day – sometimes twice a day! I couldn’t find any statistics on this issue with the sign industry; but I do know it’s enough to make you want to do your best recycling to keep the scraps out of the landfills.
I’ve spent a lot of time researching recycling sign scraps, but I didn’t like the process. There are recycling companies that you can mail your scraps to or you can pack up the scraps and drive to recycling facilities. Packing up scraps was too much work. The nearest facility for recycling sign scraps was too far and driving didn’t make sense to me. Also, companies like Gorilla Sacks take donations, but are always full of material and won’t take any more donations.
- Vinyl from left over banner material or old banners not needed anymore
- Totes, bags, book covers, tarps, picnic table cloth, tents, makeup bags, diaper bags, grocery bags, painting drop cloth, school and home art projects, sewing machine covers, home crafts, outdoor grill cover, much more.
- Backing from adhesive film (wall, window, vehicle wrapping)
- Home or craft projects, school art classes
- Backing paper from the laminate film or wrapping vinyl
- Packing or wrapping signs to customers
- Printer ink cartridges
- Companies such as Hewlett-Packard have made a positive move by paying money for returned ink cartridges, while Canon has spent great sums on recycling toner cartridges.
- Substrates (maxmetal, coroplast, wood, etc.)
- Home crafts, school shop class
- Boxes that supplies come in
- Re-use for mailing signs to customers
- Used knife blades
- Keep a “sharps” container handy
- Tape (backing, masking, etc.)
- Not much to do except throw it out
Opportunities and benefits:
- Flatbed printers are not cheap, but are a great addition to a sign business for many reasons. For this topic, printing directly on rigid material reduces the adhesive backing that gets thrown away.
- Look for recycling programs in your city. We belong to a voluntary program called Climatewise. They help you with solutions and ideas to recycle that you report and create challenges and projects to address ongoing problems. What it really does, it keeps your company educated and aware of their recycling.