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New Hampshire aftermath: Cleaning up after the campaigns

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN Radio
updated 1:03 AM EST, Thu January 12, 2012
The campaigns left behind hundreds of political signs on street corners in New Hampshire. Now someone has to pick them all up.
The campaigns left behind hundreds of political signs on street corners in New Hampshire. Now someone has to pick them all up.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Hundreds of campaign signs are left in New Hampshire
  • City workers are largely handling the cleanup
  • 'It's a never-ending battle,' a worker says

(CNN) -- The votes have been counted, the candidates have moved on to South Carolina, but remnants of a hard-fought battle blanket Manchester, New Hampshire.

The campaigns left behind hundreds, perhaps thousands of political signs on street corners and traffic medians from one end of the city to the other. Now someone has to go around and collect them.

"It's definitely a big task to pick them up after the election is over," said Bob Roy as he surveyed a pile of signs at a city yard.

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The chief of street operations for Manchester said every four years, they expect to clean up after the campaigns in the same way they expect to plow the streets when it snows.

"A lot of them are just left in place and, therefore, we go pick them up," Roy said. "It's a never ending battle."

Often, campaign workers show up at the yard. They sift through the pile and collect the signs bearing their candidate's name. Sometimes they bring them to the next primary state. Or, they hold on to them and hope to re-plant them around the city if their candidate becomes the party's nominee in the general election.

Shawn Dionne makes runs in his pick-up truck several times a week as he clears the signs. "The pile gets pretty big," said the public works employee who has the back-breaking job of pulling the signs out of the ground.

Sometimes, campaign workers are at the yard waiting for him to back his pick-up truck up to the bin and toss in a few hundred more signs.

"I come to bring in a load and they're chilling out here just digging through, throwing signs around ... I let them do their thing," Dionne said. "When they're done I come and drop off my load, go out and pick up more."

He gets pleasure from the spectacle.

"You gotta enjoy your job sometimes."

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