Former Langley council candidate Gary Hee said it only takes moments to quickly convert discarded election signs into lightweight sleeping mats for the homeless. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Former Langley council candidate Gary Hee said it only takes moments to quickly convert discarded election signs into lightweight sleeping mats for the homeless. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Langley man wants to recycle election signs into sleeping mats for the homeless

Rather than send them to landfills, former council candidate says signs can be repurposed

A former Langley council candidate has come up with a way to recycle election campaign signs into lightweight, dry sleeping mats for homeless people.

Gary Hee said he has been thinking about way to repurpose election signs ever since he ran for Langley Township council in 2018.

“I was driving down 200 street and I saw a whole mess of campaign signs,” Hee recalled.

There had to be a better way to dispose of the plastic notices than sending them to the dump, he felt.

“I asked the [other] candidates what are you going to do with them,” he related.

“[I said] if you don’t want them, give them to me.”

He ended up with about 800.

Hee demonstrated how sleeping mats can be made from campaign signs for the Black Press Media, using a cordless drill to sandwich several of them together into lightweight rectangles that can be combined to provide a full-length sleeping mat.

“They’re dry and warm,” Hee said, an better alternative to sleeping on the ground that doesn’t take up space and can be easily packed up.

Hee said signs from the current federal election campaign could also be repurposed for sleeping mats, but he wants to see if the idea gets some traction, before he makes another appeal for federal placards.

One church in Langley has expressed interest, Hee said, and he is hoping other agencies that assist the homeless will find the mats useful.

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

This is Hee’s second bid to recycle the campaign signs.

Earlier on, he designed a small portable shelter for homeless people built with campaign signs, but the idea didn’t catch on.

“I ended using them for garden boxes,” he said.

Hee said a local Langley church recently accepted a donation about 20 sleeping mats, and told him they intend to consult with community groups about the idea.

READ ALSO: Hospital parking fee fight goes from Langley to PNE to Ottawa

Hee, a Surrey resident, got involved in Langley issues in 2014 when he organized a petition of local residents to call for traffic calming measures along 72 Avenue where it crosses the Surrey-Langley border.

Hee launched the campaign after there were a number of serious accidents where pedestrians were hit in the area of 72 Avenue and 198B Street.

READ MORE: Campaign calls for crosswalk at fatal 72 Ave. crash site

In 2016, the Township council voted to spend $1.6 million on safety improvements.

More recently, Hee circulated a petition among Langley residents that called on the provincial government, Langley Memorial Hospital Board and the mayors and councils of the City and Township of Langley “to implement ways and means to collaborate to remove parking fees placed upon us or our vehicles while attending the hospital emergency department premises for medical reasons during and up to a four hour period.”

Hee set a goal of 2,500 signatures, only to see numbers top 3,500.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

Most Read