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Reuse and Recycle: Finding New Lives for Campaign Materials

Cleanup crew removing election banners and flagsThe end of this year’s elections on November 26 also marks the beginning of the drive to remove election ads and banners. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reported that it has assigned 95 trucks and 391 staff members to take on the daunting task starting 4 PM on November 26. 


Statistics from the agency indicated that a total of 318 campaign banners, flags, and materials related to the mayor’s race were dismantled and removed, as well as approximately 7,355 articles related with city councilor election and 2,630 items pertaining to the borough chief election. A significant percentage among the 10,303 articles removed consisted of cloth banners and flags (8,525 items – roughly accounting for 82.7% of the total). 


According to DEP, the number of election-related articles removed this year is significantly less than the number reported after the election in 2018 (a difference of 12,875 items). This shows that Taipei’s election activities are becoming more environmentally-friendly, helping to achieve a campaign waste reduction by 55.5%. 


The agency pointed out that regulations require candidates to remove their banners and flags by 10 PM on voting day. In the interest of keeping the city environment clean and maintain traffic safety, DEP will treat campaign materials that remain after the deadline as unwanted items. In the interest of equality in removing campaign materials, it will prioritize items placed on public facilities and those affecting traffic safety. 


DEP stressed that in the spirit of recycle and reuse, the banners and flags which are not collected before a set deadline will be taken apart to be used for other purposes. For example, the flags and banners can be reused as bottom of recycled sofas or made into reusable grocery bags. The sticks and poles can be adapted to gardening or landscaping purposes.