Winter Park teams up with Orange County to turn election signs into ‘Fuelcubes’

City of Winter Park encourages residents to recycle election signs and stands

Winter Park, Orlando and Orange County are asking residents to recycle election signs and stands, saying they can be turned into an alternative energy source.

WINTER PARK, Fla. – Winter Park, Orlando and Orange County are asking residents to recycle election signs and stands, saying they can be turned into an alternative energy source.

According to Winter Park officials, the recycling initiative will prevent signs from ending up in a landfill. Instead, officials said signs will be transported to NuCycle Energy, a recycling plant in Hillsborough County.

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“We’re collecting these signs from residents, so they’re recycled correctly,” Sara Miller, manager of Winter Park’s Sustainability Division, told News 6.

Miller said that political election campaign signs can be seen all over the city, though after the polls close, they may remain there, bringing harm to the environment. That’s one reason why the city is encouraging people to recycle their signs.

“We just don’t have the workers to go through everybody’s garbage,” Miller said. “That’s why it goes directly to the landfills, so this program is very important.”

According to Miller, her department — along with the city of Orlando, Orange County and the League of Women Voters — will be collecting election campaign signs at the end of both the primaries and general elections. She said people can take their signs and stands to collection points to be disposed of.

“All we require people to do is to take the metal out of the bottom of the sign,” Miller said. “You can place them into this crate, and then you can open our recycle bin and put the metal stakes... in the recycle bin.”

Once collected, the signs will be taken to NuCycle to be processed.

NuCycle Energy will then transform the signs and stands into the company’s designed Enviro-Fuelcubes. According to NuCycle, each cube is similar to a piece of coal, and those cubes can be used in power generation or cement manufacturing as a cleaner form of energy.

“There are less emissions you burn with this than with the coal, and less pollutants are going into our air,” Miller said.

The initiative originally began back in 2020, Miller said. Following the November 2020 campaign season, the initiative collected and recycled more than 15,000 signs from Winter Park, according to city officials.

“In Winter Park alone, we collected over 15,000. Since the partnership with Orlando and Orange County, in a total of all their sites, there were over 22,000 signs...” Miller said. “Weight-wise, that’s over 4,000 pounds.”

Winter Park’s Sustainability Division said that people can continue to drop off signs for the election primaries until Sept. 6 at noon. After that, the initiative will start back up during the general elections season from Nov. 4 - 23.

Below is a list of drop off locations in Orlando and Winter Park:

Winter Park Drop-Off Locations

  • Cady Way at 2525 Cady Way
  • Mead Botanical Garden at 1300 South Benning Drive
  • Fire Station 64 at 1439 Howell Branch Road

City of Orlando Collection Locations

  • Andes Campus at 202 Andes Avenue
  • The Packing District Farmers’ Market at 2310 N. Orange Blossom Trail
  • Broadway Methodist Church at 406 E. Amelia Street
  • First Unitarian Church of Orlando at 1901 E. Robinson Street

Specialty Collection at Local Farmers’ Markets

Orlando Farmers’ Market — 20 N. Eola Drive at Lake Eola Park

  • Sunday, Aug. 28 — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 4 — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 6 — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 13 — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 20 — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Audubon Park Community Market — 1842 E. Winter Park Road

  • Monday, Aug. 29 — 5 - 8 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 5 — 5 - 8 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 7 — 5 - 8 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 14 — 5 - 8 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 21 — 5 - 8 p.m.

For a list of additional election sign recycle locations outside of Winter Park, visit the City of Orlando’s website here or the Orange County website here.

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About the Authors:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.

Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined in April 2022.