Discarded election signs at the Langley Township public works yard. Heather Colpitts Black Press

Proposal to use recycled campaign signs for homeless shelters attracts interest

Township of Langley approves donation of discarded signs, U.S. radio network reports on idea

A proposal to recycle election yard signs into emergency shelters for the homeless appeared to gain some traction this week, with word the Township of Langley has agreed to give the discarded signs from the municipal elections to Gary Hee, the Township council hopeful who came up with the idea.

Hee said the Township election officer has given him the go-ahead “to get them on Tuesday at the works yard” where the discarded signs are kept.

Hee’s idea also came to the attention of National Public Radio (NPR) in the United States, when he was contacted by a producer for NPR’s “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” a show devoted to off-beat news stories.

When contacted by Black Press, the producer confirmed the idea was mentioned on the show, but declined to be interviewed.

READ MORE: Used election signs could serve as emergency shelters, candidate says

Hee said he came up with the idea when he saw the “massive amount of signage” lining the roads during the run-up to the vote.

“A lot of them will probably end up in the landfill as garbage,” said Hee, who did not win a seat on council.

“I thought, why waste them?”

The 74-year-old Hee said he only put out four regular campaign signs to be “green” during the election, so he only had enough to make a scaled-down model of an emergency foul-weather shelter that could accommodate one person.

The plastic signs are waterproof, lightweight and easy to store, and church groups and other agencies that assist the homeless would store the shelters for use when temperatures drop, Hee said.

He’s hoping to collect enough signs to make a full-size prototype for testing, and has already spoken to some homeless people who expressed interest.

He has also emailed the other Langley candidates to ask for donations.

Most, he said, told him “they have no signs to provide due to saving (for reuse in future campaigns) or discarded to waste depots.”

During his unsuccessful campaign for a Township council seat (he finished 22nd of 23 candidates), Hee listed homelessness as one of his top concerns, saying if elected he would lobby to reduce homelessness “by advocating co-operative mobile homes on government residential endowment land and leased lots.”

Hee, a Surrey resident, got involved in Langley politics when he began campaigning for improvements to the stretch of road that crosses the Langley-Surrey border after a number of serious accidents in the area of 72 Avenue and 198B Street.

Any sign donors can contact him by email at gary.hee@gmail.com.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: Bowen Byram named top prospect

Giants defenceman recognized as premier NHL draft pick

Langley golfer James Allenby takes Canada Life Open lead

Shot career-low round at Point Grey Golf & Country Club

Langley Thunder kick off 2019 season with high hopes

Home opener set for Wednesday, May 29 against the Burnaby Lakers.

Langley Home Expo shows off home and yard improvements

The annual event is being held in Brookswood at the George Preston Rec Centre

Kodiaks dominate spring season

Seven lopsided wins in a row for the 2018 provincial midget champions

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say boy, 11, missing for two days found safe

Dominic Mattie was last seen at 5 p.m. in the 13500-block of Gateway Drive in Surrey

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Most Read