Johnson County elections are over. What do I do with my campaign signs?

Campaign signs for the three candidates running for city council in Leawood's Ward 1. Photo credit Kyle Palmer.

Campaign signs for the three candidates who ran for city council in Leawood's Ward 1. Photo credit Kyle Palmer.

With last week’s general election behind us, it’s time for candidates to retire their campaign materials — including signs.

For the past several weeks, campaign signs for candidates have been scattered throughout Johnson County, blanketing medians and right of ways along major roads and at busy intersections.

The end of the election season means city staff will soon start to take those down, if candidates and volunteers haven’t already.

Here’s how long campaign signs can stay up, and what to do with them once they’re down.

Right of way signs have to go

  • State law allows campaign signs to be placed in public right of ways for short periods of time around elections.
  • The public right of way is generally defined as one foot adjacent to a public sidewalk.
  • Generally, campaign signs can be in a public right of way for up to 45 days before an election and for two days after.
  • Prairie Village’s municipal code allows for a slightly longer post-election period, with any election-related signs in a public right of way needing to come down seven days after the election.

What about signs in my yard?

  • Signs on private property can generally stay up longer, but you should check your city’s code for exact rules in your area.
  • In Overland Park, stake signs on private property can stay up for up to 60 days.
  • In Lenexa, signs that aren’t in the right of way can stay up for 90 days, with consent of a private property owner.
  • Temporary signs on private property can stay up in Prairie Village yards for up to 90 days.
  • Temporary signs in Shawnee also have a 90-day limit.

Some signs can be recycled

  • Johnson County has a number of locations where people can bring campaign signs they want to recycle.
  • Overland Park’s recycling center at 11921 Hardy St. will accept signs from 7:30 a.m. to 3:50 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. on Saturday — though their center will only accept metal stands from signs, not the wax-covered paper boards.
  • Olathe’s recycling drop-off center at 1100 Hedge Ln. is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
  • Check out the full list of Johnson County recycling centers here — and be sure to check which materials each center will accept.

Only sign materials can be recycled

  • Since campaign signs are often made with multiple materials, city officials encourage residents to double check with their trash or recycling provider before putting them in their curbside recycling bin for pickup.
  • Plastic signs should be removed from the metal post it’s attached to before the sign is recycled.
  • The sign’s metal stakes can be disposed of at scrap metal recycling centers, like Advantage Metals Recycling in Kansas City, Kansas.

Go deeper: Johnson County campaign yard signs — What’s allowed and what’s not