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Local 11-year-old creates campaign sign recycling program

Posted at 9:45 PM, Nov 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-15 23:33:11-05

LAFAYETTE — Throughout Lafayette and across Acadiana there are hundreds of campaign signs.

11-year-old Tre Bishop was helping his dad, State Representative Stuart Bishop, put out campaign signs when the thought hit him - where do all these signs go once the election is over?

Bishop went home that evening and found some news that disappointed him.

"So I came home with my friends, and I did a little bit of research, and found out they usually end up in landfills, which hurts the environment," Bishop said.

Bishop is a baseball player and active fisher. He felt like he needed to do something to solve this problem. He cites his father as an inspiration.

"Since I was younger my dad told me everyday go out and change the world, so I thought this would be one way to not fix the world but help change my kids, my future, and everyone else future," Bishop said.

During his research he found the corrugated plastic used to make campaign signs can only be recycled properly in five states. Louisiana is not one of them. He says they need a 'special machine' to melt the plastic, so he made a few phone calls.

"A company from Baton Rouge is putting out bins for me, and they'll take the signs and go recycle wherever they can go," Bishop said.

Republic Services is generously comping all roll off costs. Also partners in the project are the Environmental Quality Division of LCG and LA Scrap Metal.

Bishop hopes to see the plastic become park benches and playground equipment. Or maybe even a symbol of the state he was born in and that his father represents.

"Playgrounds or maybe even have a sculptor sculpt a pelican out of it," Bishop said.

He says there are at least 500,000 campaign signs throughout Louisiana. The signs will be collected at bins in multiple locations in Lafayette, including; 400 Dugas Road, all three Ascension Episcopal Schools (in the student drop off) and all Baldwin Redi-Mix locations. Drop off for the signs will end November 25th.